HL Deb 11 January 2005 vol 668 cc41-2WA
Lord Judd

asked Her Majesty's Government:

  1. (a) what are the most recent instructions issued to immigration officials setting out the procedures, and how they should be implemented, for dealing WA 42 with Roma, Kurds, Albanians, Tamils, Pontic Greeks, Somalis and Afghans who seek to enter the United Kingdom;
  2. (b)on what date these instructions were given; and
  3. (c)how many people under each designation have been admitted and how many have been refused admission since the instructions were given. [HL315]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal

The ministerial authorisation signed on 23 April 2001 by the then Immigration Minister (Mrs Roche) which allowed immigration officers to discriminate in the examination of passengers from certain specified ethnic or national groups was revoked on 11 June 2002. Immigration officers were advised on 12 June that they were no longer permitted to use ethnic or national origin as a basis for affording extra scrutiny to arriving passengers or prioritising workload. Data on the ethnic or national origin of passengers are not collated centrally and it is therefore not possible to say how many such persons have been granted or refused entry.

A separate authorisation was made on 24 February this year and extended on 24 May to enable immigration officers to prioritise the examination of passengers of Somali national origin. The aim of this measure was to establish how many in-country asylum applications claiming to be Somali, apparently without documentation, enter the UK. This exercise began on 22 March and concluded on 22 August.