Illegal immigrants backlog in UK equivalent to Iceland's population
The immigration system is 'spiralling out of control' as UK's Border Agency officials run up a backlog of more than 300,000 cases, MPs have warned.
The Commons home affairs select committee said that the growing number of immigration cases, which includes almost 174,000 missing illegal immigrants, is equivalent to the population of Iceland.
MPs said that mismanagement by the UK Border Agency could lead to thousands more illegal immigrants being granted an 'effective amnesty' as officials write off their cases.
According to the Telegraph, the number of unresolved immigration cases rose by 25,000 between April and June this year.
The UK Border Agency had 302,064 cases to investigate, trace or conclude, the MPs found.
Most of the increase was in illegal immigrants who have not been removed from the UK and have gone missing, the report said.
"The closure of the controlled archives may result in a significant number of people being granted effective amnesty in the United Kingdom, irrespective of the merits of their case," the MPs said.
According to the report, the committee raised fears that people who should be given asylum and allowed to remain in the UK could be removed.
"There are about the same number of cases awaiting resolution as there are people living in Iceland. The backlog is spiralling out of control and stands at a third of a million. It has grown by 25,000 cases in just three months," Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the committee, said.
He accused officials of trying to "camouflage" the backlog.
"Entering the world of the UKBA is like falling through the looking glass. The closer we look the more backlogs we find, their existence obscured by opaque names," he said.