HC Deb 21 January 2004 vol 416 c1274W
Dr. Pugh

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what amnesties in the form of permission to stay have been offered to people who entered the country illegally during the last 15 years; and when. [148148]

Beverley Hughes

There have been no "amnesties" targeted at people who entered illegally in the last 15 years.

On three occasions during that time special exercises have been undertaken to grant leave to people meeting specified criteria. The administrative exercise in 1992–93 granted exceptional leave to remain to 60 per cent. of those refused asylum—possibly over 20,000. There was no announcement to Parliament.

The exercise in 1998, announced to Parliament in 1998, granted leave to those whose claims had been subject to delay in processing.

The focused exercise we announced last October is targeted at families who applied before reforms were made to the appeal system and who have children who are established within our communities.