Independent News from Alternative Sources
Some 29,000 asylum applications in the UK have not been entirely addressed by the Home Office after years of waiting, a group of lawmakers say.
Asylum seekers in the UK march, demanding dignity for asylum seekers.
The UK Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said on Wednesday that, out of the 29,000 applications from 2007 and earlier, 11,000 have not even had an initial ruling on their claims.
“The pressure is on, and the Home Office must take urgent steps to sort out this immigration mess,” said the committee’s chairperson, Margaret Hodge.
“It must put in place skilled, incentivized staff and sort out its data so it can crack the backlog and move people through the system.”
With a general election coming up in May 2015, Prime Minister David Cameron has come under pressure over the country’s immigration system.
The government, in response, claimed that it had taken over a “failing organization” when it came to power in 2010.
“The immigration system we inherited was totally dysfunctional with systematic abuse of family, work and student visas,” Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said.
Brokenshire added that the immigration system was entirely unsuccessful in performing its tasks.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) was abolished in March 2013, partly due to its incompetence to deal with backlog cases.
Since then, three directorates – UK Visas and Immigration, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force – have been doing the job.
The report adds more than 175,000 people whose visa applications have been rejected will soon be removed from Britain.