The United Kingdom's immigration authority, the UK Border Agency, has announced that it intends to launch a database of information about immigrants to the UK in September. The UKBA has been working on the National Allegation Database for some time. It is intended to store information about foreign nationals residing in the UK and to prevent people from staying in the country illegally. The UKBA hopes that the database will enable it to clear the backlog of 276,000 immigration cases currently on its books.
The UKBA intends to keep records of all those
coming to Britain from outside the European Union, particularly those with UK
Tier 4 student visas. Personal details will be taken from various sources
including flight records. The UKBA will write to those on the database at the
point when their visa is about to expire. The letter will warn that, if the
recipient does not leave within 28 days, he will be deported and barred from
returning to the UK.
The United Kingdom's Immigration
Minister, Damian Green, said earlier this week 'From debrief interviews, we have
found that a third of people decide to overstay at the point their visa expires.
If we can send these people letters warning of the consequences of illegally
overstaying then I'm sure we can reduce the total number deciding to
The database will also contain details of allegations made by
members of the public about suspected illegal immigrants. A Home Affairs Select
Committee report in July complained that the UKBA was failing to act on tip-offs
received from the public. It said that the UKBA received 25,600 communications
about suspected illegal immigrants between December 2011 and March 2012. Only
900 of these contacts were followed up.
Keith Vaz MP, the Labour
chairman of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, welcomed the
news of the launch but said that there had been unacceptable delays. He said
that the UKBA must take steps to find 'bogus migrants' and 'remove them
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