Mismanagement of UK immigration has seen the UK Border Agency (UKBA) criticised in a recent report.
MPS on the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee stated that the 'controlled archive' had become a “dumping ground for cases where the UKBA has lost track of the applicant”. Between March and September, the number of these cases tripled from 40,500 to 124,000.
The MPs expressed their concern regarding the 'controlled archive', suggesting that it was "a bureaucratic term which hides the true nature of a Government department's activity and is designed to deflect attention away from it".
In reality, it might be more appropriately dubbed “an archive of lost applicants”, the committee remarked.
Among the cases held in the archive are around 98,000 asylum seekers who cannot be found. The agency is not even aware of whether or not the individuals concerned have left the UK. A further 26,000 cases of migrants are held in the archives and involve people who have overstayed their UK visas. Most of these cases are around eight years old, suggesting further disarray in organisation of UK immigration issues.
Commenting on the situation, immigration minister Damian Green, stated: “The immigration system we inherited was chaotic and this Government is working to fix the mistakes of the past by making better decisions, ensuring cases are properly tracked, improving intelligence and speeding up removals.
"I am determined to deal with the historic asylum cases left by the last government and we are making real progress tackling the archive to trace these individuals.”