James Slack, Daily Mail (London), May 30, 2012
Thousands of illegal immigrants have been caught by the authorities before being released ‘to protect their human rights’.
One in six of those granted bail later absconds – meaning they must be caught a second time at huge cost to the taxpayer.
Internal Home Office figures show that last year 1,665 immigration detainees were granted bail, of whom 277 later absconded.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: ‘Trying to deport illegal immigrants inevitably takes a fair amount of time.
‘The courts should take account of this fact before releasing large numbers on bail, especially as they are fairly likely to abscond.’
When trying to deport an illegal immigrant, officials can either start legal proceedings or, in some cases, offer people bribes to go home.
Detainees can then only continue to be held in immigration centres if there is a good chance of them being imminently deported.
At the same time, others cite Article 8 of the Human Rights Act – which gives the right to a family and private life – meaning courts are forced to let them go pending appeals.
There are also often problems in locating documents to identify where immigrants are from – making it impossible to send them home. In many cases, documents have been destroyed deliberately.
Home Office officials have grown so frustrated they are planning a new enforcement strategy to keep tabs on illegal immigrants granted bail.
Among the measures, officials plan to make compliance visits to immigrants’ last known address.
Their details will also be circulated on the police national computer and there will be targeted tracing and consideration of prosecution.
The scandal is in addition to the large numbers of foreign criminals walking the streets.
Earlier this month, it emerged there are 3,900 overseas convicts on bail in the community.
Of these, 2,500 were released from jail more than two years ago – including 817 who have been at large for five years or more, UK Border Agency statistics showed.
Leaked papers have revealed how released foreign criminals on immigration bail have committed a string of violent crimes – including three murders, three kidnappings and 14 sexual offences, including rape.
This month it also emerged that, of the 1,103 foreign prisoners who were released without being considered for deportation, only 399 have been deported six years on.