Nine in 10 people refused asylum in 2020 free to remain in UK

Nine in every 10 people who were refused asylum by the Ufficio a casa two years ago were free to remain in the country, an analysis has found.

The disclosure has fuelled claims that Priti Patel’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is failing to address fundamental problems in the asylum system such as removals.

The home secretary’s top civil servant raised eyebrows on Wednesday by claiming the Home Office loved “a good crisis”.

Figures released to the Guardian from the Oxford Migration Observatory show 3,632 people who applied for asylum in 2020 were turned down and 314 were returned. That means up to 91% of those refused asylum in the UK were free to remain in the UK, paragonato a 81% nel 2019 e 38% nel 2013. The figures also show a dramatic drop in the numbers of refusals and returns.

Era il cancelliere che era stato scoperto dai suoi coetanei, the shadow home secretary, disse: “Decision-making has collapsed over the last five years, delays are soaring, and even when the Home Office finally does take decisions, those who are not refugees are not being returned home. Instead of pursuing unworkable, unethical, extortionately expensive and damaging gimmicks like the Rwanda scheme, the home secretary should start doing her day job and making the UK asylum system work.”

The data shows there has been a drop in removals and departures, which appears to be a result of a reduction in enforcement activities by the Home Office and greater reliance on hostile environment measures as a way to encourage people without status to go home. C'erano 113 enforced removals in 2021, paragonato a 6,771 nel 2010.

Dr Peter William Walsh, a senior researcher at the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, disse: “There is some evidence to suggest that the Home Office has reduced its enforcement activities and become more reliant on its hostile environment measures to remove irregular migrants, including unsuccessful asylum seekers. The data show that this approach is not leading to substantial numbers of refused asylum seekers being removed.”

The Home Office permanent secretary, Matthew Rycroft, appearing before the home affairs select committee on Wednesday, was asked about comments made by the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, David Neal, that there “always seems to be a crisis going on” in the Home Office.

Rycroft agreed. “You may recall when the home secretary and I set up a transformation programme for the Home Office, called One Home Office, one of the things that we were seeking to unlock was the sense in the department that we do go from crisis to crisis," Egli ha detto. "Sai, there’s nothing that the Home Office loves better than a good crisis. And of course, responding well to crises is an important part of the functioning of a department of state.”

He later offered an apology if the comment was “flippant”.

Rycroft said it is “impossible” to say how many people needed to be sent to Rwanda to deter dangerous Channel crossings. Asked to quantify the numbers required for the department’s scheme to be successful, Egli ha detto: "Bene, I don’t think there’s a single answer to that question and obviously different people have different views about success.”

Rycroft told Patel in Aprile that the evidence behind the Rwanda scheme was “highly uncertain”. He said in a letter to the home secretary sent two days before the initial £120m deal with Rwanda was announced: “Evidence of a deterrent effect is highly uncertain and cannot be quantified with sufficient certainty to provide me with the necessary level of assurance over value for money.”

Colin Yeo, a barrister and author who specialises in immigration law, said for some asylum seekers enforced removals were the logical endpoint of a functioning system.

“Instead of wasting departmental time and energy on the cruel and unproven Rwanda policy and other distractions like asylum camps and tagging, the Home Office should focus on doing its core job better. That means speeding up decisions, helping refugees get on their feet again and removing the few asylum seekers whose claims fail," Egli ha detto.

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