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Backlog of Failed Asylum Seekers Waiting Deportation Rises by Thousands

The number of failed asylum seekers waiting to be deported by the Home Office has risen by more than 5,000 in a year.

According to Home Office figures, more than 32,000 migrants whose asylum claims were rejected were “subject to removal” at the end of June with the number deported falling from 5,433 to 4,118, reports The Times. 

A staggering drop in enforced removals has been noted over the past 12 years, with the number of failed asylum seekers being deported falling from almost 15,000 in 2004 to 2,365 in 2016. The number of those leaving voluntarily fell to a low of 1,752.

The Home Office said: “Every effort is made to swiftly remove individuals who have not left the UK voluntarily. However, we may need to clear legal barriers, secure documentation or overcome other obstacles before we can return an individual.”

The Home Office has come under criticism for failure to deport asylum seekers who have been denied refugee status.

In 2016, it was revealed that two-thirds of failed asylum seekers who came to the UK more than a decade ago were still in the country, including people who committed multiple crimes.

The Government was also criticised for wasting £1.9 million on “phantom” deportations by buying aeroplane tickets for failed asylum seekers who did not show up for their flights back to their home countries.

The bill, incurred whilst Prime Minister Theresa May was home secretary, was at a three-year high.

The Home Office also paid out £420,000 in legal fees in a case when a spouse was denied access to the UK and £320,000 when a decision to exclude two people from the country was overturned.

A Home Office minister admitted last year that the UK is powerless to deport tens of thousands of failed asylum seekers because they refuse to disclose their nationality, exploiting human rights laws that bar the expulsion of failed asylum seekers of unknown origin.

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