Siobahn McFadyen, Express, October 21, 2016
The UK government is giving £2,000 of taxpayers’ cash to illegal immigrants to get them to leave the country amid the publishing of new figures which show the UK borders are at crisis point.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who was responsible for immigration until she assumed responsibility for running the country, is facing mounting pressure to bring the situation under control as it’s revealed asylum claims are at their highest level in 12 years.
Each day immigration officials are forced to deal with queues of thousands of people desperate to secure their status in the country.
And to tackle it the Home Office has confirmed illegal immigrants are now being offered £2,000 each to leave as well as a flight home paid for by British taxpayers.
The Government confirmed they have made “assisted return” payments to a total of 529 people since they developed the strategy which was implemented in January of this year.
They say the money is offered on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum value of £2,000 per person.
The assistance, the Government says, is to help those returning to “find somewhere to live, find a job or start a business in their home country”.
According to the latest figures there’s been a 41 per cent jump in the amount of asylum claims in the past year with people flooding in from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Syria respectively.
Home Office officials have confirmed that these figures are the highest since 2004, leaving serious concerns over whether Britain’s policies for dealing with the Europe-wide migrant crisis are working.
Worryingly deportations have dropped by nine per cent as the British Government desperately tries to get a handle on the worsening crisis.
Most applications for asylum are made by people already in the country who have made it past border control, the Government has confirmed.
And they say 90 per cent of applications in the year ending June 2016 were claimed after they’d arrived in Britain, rather than immediately on arrival in the UK at a port.
In addition there has been a 17 per cent increase in family visas meaning a further 47,000 non-EU nationals immigrated long-term to the UK to accompany or join others after they were granted leave to remain.
While in the year ending March 2016, the Office for National Statistics estimates there were 71,000 non-EU long-term immigrants for work, an increase of nine per cent or 6,000 compared with the previous 12 months.
An investigation by Express.co.uk revealed the true extent of the problem as civil servants battle to deal with millions of people who have poured into the country in the past decade.
Each day thousands of people queue up for appointments at Immigration Centres around the country.
One of the busiest is Becket House on St Thomas Street just a stone’s throw away from the iconic Shard building and London Bridge Station.
Both illegal immigrants and migrants with valid visas are forced to stand in queues for hours at a time, with lines snaking for 300 metres as hundreds of people line the streets to speak to an increasingly slimline enforcement staff.
The doors of the detention and processing centre are covered with information which encourages illegal immigrants to apply for free flights to their home countries.
Now politicians are warning that the scheme to pay illegal immigrants money will only encourage the problem.
Ukip MEP Mike Hookem said the findings were “a kick in the teeth for all the hard working families in this country who are struggling to make ends meet.”
He added: “We knew when it came to border control Theresa May was an abject failure and it seems the Home Office continues to put the well being of illegal immigrants above families who have paid into the system and are legally entitled to use the welfare state.
“We have heard this week about the cash crisis facing the NHS; of cancer victims denied life saving treatment yet here we have taxpayers’ money being handed out to people who have broken the law in being in this country.
“Anyone denied medicines because the NHS deem them too expensive must read this scandalous expose and ask themselves if their government is taking them for a ride.
“This money will be on top of the £12billion we send abroad in foreign aid, much of which is unaccounted for and given to corrupt organisations whilst local councils are having to slash services.
“We help criminals set up businesses abroad whilst regulating our own into bankruptcy, we fly people back to their country of origin when people here can’t afford the heating on and we have turned our health service into an international health service.
“During my trips to the Calais ‘Jungle’, I met a number of failed asylum seekers who were looking to re-enter the UK. Schemes like this one do nothing more than to encourage further illegal migration.
“Time and again, Theresa May and the Conservatives have failed to honour their promises on limiting immigration and it seems the situation is set to continue, with deportations falling despite the level of illegal migration being up.
“Yet the woman at the helm of this department for years is now running the country. Citizens: beware.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “People who have no right to be in the UK should return to their home country, and it is much better if they do so voluntarily and at the earliest opportunity. Enforced returns cost the taxpayer several thousand pounds, whereas helping those depart voluntarily costs much less.
“Launched in 2016, the Home Office Voluntary Returns Service (VRS) works directly with those who are here illegally and supports them in making arrangements to help them leave the UK of their own volition. This allows us to focus on detaining foreign national offenders and those who represent the biggest threat.”