The immigration fiasco that has rocked the Home Office is set to continue after the files of failed migrants whose visas were refused were found in meeting rooms and cupboards at offices in Sheffield. Some were even discovered in an old lift shaft, according to the Express.
It comes after the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine claimed little or no progress was being made in dealing in getting to grips with illegal immigration and those who have overstayed their visa.
The number of people who have outstayed the permitted duration on their visa was revealed to be 173,562.
Combined with the new discoveries which aren’t duplicate files, there are roughly 263,000 “overstayers” living in the UK – the population of Stoke on Trent.
Mr Vine revealed that the thousands of additional records had not previously been disclosed by ministers.
And it comes just days after politicians vowed to get to grips with the huge backlog of illegal immigrants in the wake of a rising concern by voters over how Westminster parties are dealing with the number coming to live and stay in this country.
The Home Office pay the private firm Capita £12.7 million to help clear the backlog. They have defended their record saying they only perform part of the removal process.
A spokesman said, “It [Capita] is not contracted to handle, nor able to effect change in, the end-to-end process.”
But figures show that the company has only managed to repatriate fewer than one per ken of immigrants contracted out of the tens of thousands in the Migrant Refusal Pool it is supposed to be clearing out.
The low numbers may not come as such a shock to those who knew that the methods used by the company include sending text messages to immigrants many of whom, unsurprisingly, simply ignored them.
Immigration Minister James Brokenshire sought to blame the previous Labour administration. “We inherited an immigration system in complete disarray, which turned a blind eye to hundreds of thousands of people with no right to be here,” he said.
Since the beginning of the 21st century migrant numbers into the UK have soared, although much of it is entirely legal due to the open door policy of the EU.
In trying to control numbers, parties have sought to put tighter controls on non-EU migrants entering this country but with the UK’s border being constrained by the free movement between other EU member states, it has become more and more difficult to keep tabs on who is in the UK and who is not.
Scandals involving illegal immigrants are not new. In 2006 450,000 historic asylum cases were found piled up in boxes. This shambles resulted in 160,000 illegal immigrants who had been lost by the government being granted an effective amnesty.