THE recent focus on the Channel crisis has revealed a striking statistic: only 1 per cent of small boat arrivals since 2020 have been sent back to their home country.
We knew that the number of enforced returns had dropped to a paltry level (see the chart below), but this recent revelation vividly highlights the Home Office’s struggle to deport illegal immigrants.
The information came to light through written evidence submitted to the Home Affairs committee. In this evidence, the Home Office acknowledged that out of 111,833 illegal migrants who entered the UK by small boat since 2020, only 1,182 were removed or sent to their home country. More concerning is that, despite the government’s year-old agreement with Albania to boost returns, only five per cent of Albanian arrivals since 2020 have been sent back.
This whole debacle is intricately tied to the colossal backlog of asylum cases that the government seems utterly incapable of sorting out. The hope of resolving 92,000 legacy cases by the end of this year is now nothing more than a dream.
Instead of efficiently dealing with cases more likely to face rejection (such as Albanian nationals), the government’s absurd response was to fast-track those cases with a higher chance of getting asylum. To make matters worse, our human rights laws and international agreements are woefully outdated, making it exceedingly challenging to deport illegal immigrants.
It’s a topsy-turvy system that has left the least deserving asylum seekers lounging indefinitely in taxpayer-funded hotels, all while the government fumbles its way through. For the gritty details, check out the Times report here.