Just one in 70 suspected illegal immigrants is arrested, according to new government data. Home Office figures reveal that 28,442 suspected illegal migrants were detained in the past two years, despite estimates of the total number of people here without permission being as high as two million.
The figures, seen by the Daily Express, also reveal that the foreign nationals come from nearly every country on Earth.
The number suspected illegal immigrant arrested accounts for just 1.5 percent of the total estimated to be in Britain. The figures also show that individuals from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh account for more than half of those arrested.
Some of the more unusual nationalities include Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Macau and French Polynesia.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch said: “Clearly, this is a matter of great concern. The scale of removals has to be greatly increased,” while UKIP MEP Tim Aker added: “It is out of control.
“These arrests barely scratch the surface and show the Government’s distasteful go-home wagons were a gimmick and not a reflection they were serious about combating illegal immigration.
“Tackling this epidemic would be a top priority for Ukip as we are the only party that would get back control of our borders.”
These figures were released at the same time as other data from the Home Office showed that more than 630 foreign criminals have escaped deportation since 2011 purely in human rights grounds.
Although foreign criminals are liable to be deported automatically if they are sentenced to more than a year in prison, they can lodge an appeal if they believe they will be subject torture or other mistreatment once they are back in their home country.
However, figures reveal that the majority of cases are brought under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which gives individuals the right to a “private and family life”.