20 August

A new report written by David Bolt, the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, has the snappy title of  “An Inspection of Home Office Outsourced Contracts for Escorted and Non-Escorted Removals and Cedars Pre-Departure Accommodation” (http://icinspector.independent.gov.uk//www/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ICIBI-report-on-Outsourced-Contracts-and-Cedars-Final.pdf).

It is remarkable for at least two things. Firstly, it contains the word “unoutcomed”, which we had never heard before.

Secondly, it shows that last year 40 per cent of planned removals to remove migrants from the UK were cancelled, and that this resulted in a loss of £1,410,000 in non-refundable airline tickets. Such migrants could be illegal entrants, overstayers, asylum-seekers whose claims have been unsuccessful, or people who have had deportation orders issued against them.

There were various different reasons for this dreadful scandal: poor liaison between the Home Office and their private contractors; disruptive and non-compliant behaviour by migrants, and late legal challenges from migrants (this latter category was a high proportion).

Looking on the bright side, the Home Office these days makes such huge sums of money in visa application fees that the impact of this on the public purse is far less than it would otherwise be.

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