HC Deb 13 September 2004 vol 424 cc1400-2W
Mr. Battle

To ask Ill; Secretary of State for the Home Department what evidence he has received regarding estimated asylum applications from(a) Darfur, (b) South Sudan and (e) other parts of Sudan; and if he will make a statement. [186723]

Mr. Browne

Applications for asylum in the UK are collated and published by nationality, and are made in the UK rather than from abroad. The available data do not include breakdowns by region within countries of origin, which would not necessarily be reliable even if it were possible to record such information. The latest published figures show a 13 per cent. rise in asylum applications from 265 in Ql 2004 to 300 in Q2 2004 from Sudanese nationals compared with an 11 per cent. fall for total applications (all nationalities) over the same period.

Information on asylum applications is published in quarterly web pages and in the annual statistical bulletin "Asylum Statistics United Kingdom". Copies of these publications and others relating to general immigration to the UK are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.

Mr. Liddell-Grainger

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed asylum seekers have been removed from the United Kingdom in each year since 1997. [186553]

Mr. Browne

The available information is in the table.

Removals and voluntary1 departures of asylum applicants, 1997 to 20032,3
Principal applicants Dependants Total
1997 7,165 n/a n/a
1998 6,990 n/a n/a
1999 7,665 n/a n/a
2000 8,980 n/a n/a
2001 9,285 41,495 10,780
2002 10,740 3,170 13,910
20035 13,005 4,890 17,895
n/a=not available
1Includes persons departing "voluntarily" after enforcement action had been initiated against them, persons leaving under Assisted Voluntary Return Programmes run by the International Organisation for Migration, and removals on safe third country grounds.
2 Figures rounded to the nearest five and may not sum to total due to rounding.
3 Data on dependants of asylum seekers removed have only been collected since April 2001.
4 Excludes January-March 2001.
5 Provisional figures

Information on asylum seekers who were removed from the UK in the first half of 2004 can be found on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1. html

Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many National Asylum Support Service-supported cases in the City of Newcastle have ended with the withdrawal of benefits on grounds of refusal of the case; and how many(a) women and (b) children have been affected by such withdrawals. [186844]

Mr. Browne

A total of 45,120 cases had support ceased in 2003 compared with 45.185 in 2002 and 14,195 in 2001. A breakdown of this information by reason for cessation, by area of the UK, by age or by gender is unavailable and could be produced only at a disproportionate cost. The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) only supports children if they are dependants of a principal applicant; NASS does not support unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASCs).

Failed asylum seekers with dependent children currently receive NASS support until such time as they leave the UK or fail to comply with a removal direction. When section 9 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004 is implemented NASS support will cease if the Secretary of State certifies that, in his opinion, such a person has failed without reasonable excuse to take reasonable steps to leave the UK voluntarily or place himself in a position in which he is able to leave the UK voluntarily.

As at the end of June 2004 the number of asylum seekers (including dependants) supported in Newcastle in NASS accommodation was 1,575 and 50 were in receipt of subsistence-only support. Figures are rounded to the nearest five and cases which have had their support terminated are excluded from this figure.

Information on the number of asylum seekers supported by NASS is published quarterly, and information on the number of cases with support ceased is published annually in the annual Home Office Statistical bulletin, Asylum Statistics United Kingdom, available on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http:// www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.

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