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Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many families have (a) returned and (b) taken steps to return to their country of origin as a result of the pilot implementation of section nine of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act 2004; and how many families subject to this pilot have (i) failed to attend stage three interviews, (ii) lost all contact with the relevant authorities and (iii) had National Asylum Support Service withdrawn. 
Mr. McNulty: As at 11 November 2005, of the 116 cases families in the pilot, one family has returned to their country of origin, and 11 others are taking steps to do so. 53 failed to attend their stage three interview and 37 have lost contact with the relevant authorities. 30 families have had National Asylum Support Service (NASS) support withdrawn for section nine reasons. A further 26 families have had, support withdrawn for reasons other than section nine. These figures are not mutually exclusive, as the same families could be included in more than one category.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers were admitted to Northern Ireland in each of the last 12 months; how many were allowed to remain in the country; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assistance is available to failed asylum seekers' families being returned to (a) Angola, (b) the Congo, (c) Sudan and (d) other unstable countries. 
Mr. McNulty: In all circumstances we prefer that failed asylum seekers including families leave the United Kingdom voluntarily rather than have their removal enforced by the Immigration Service, and we promote the benefits of voluntary return to failed asylum seekers.
Failed asylum seekers including families of all nationalities who leave the United Kingdom voluntarily can benefit from the package of reintegration assistance available as part of the Voluntary Assisted Returns and Reintegration Programme (VARRP). This is operated and delivered by International Organization for Migration (IOM) on behalf of the Home Office. Participants in this scheme receive help with re-documentation, flights, and a package of reintegration assistance tailored to meet the needs of the returnees. Depending on the facilities available in the country of origin, IOM typically provide access to vocational training courses, education or assistance in establishing a small business relevant to the locality.
Access to this package of assistance is not available to those who do not leave the United Kingdom voluntarily and subsequently have their return enforced. However in light of the special circumstances in Afghanistan and Iraq only, a package of assistance is available to those whose return is enforced to these two countries.
Mr. McNulty: In the six months from April 2005 until September 2005 140 principal asylum applicants were returned to Zimbabwe. A further 20 dependants of asylum seekers were removed to Zimbabwe in the same time period. These figures include people departing voluntarily after enforcement action has been initiated against them and people leaving under Assisted Voluntary Returns programmes run by the International Organisation for Migration. Figures have been rounded to the nearest five and are provisional.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 8 November 2005, Official Report, column 339W, on asylum immigration, whether he plans to increase expenditure on dispersal and initial accommodation for asylum seekers over the next two years. 
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) criteria are used and (b) process is followed in selecting failed asylum seekers to be returned to Iraq; and what level of access to legal advice to challenge the decision is provided for those being returned. 
Mr. McNulty: Failed asylum seekers returning to Iraq mostly self selectover 1,000 people have returned over the last three years. During that period we have returned 15 people forciblyall single males from one of the three northern governates, who had had their asylum claims rejected and who had exhausted the appeals process. As with all failed asylum seekers, all had access to legal advice during the asylum process from the point of making the claim up to their removal from the country.
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers absconded during their asylum application process before a decision on their case had been made in the last year for which figures are available. 
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance his Department issues to local authorities on housing unsuccessful applicants for leave to remain in the UK in the period between their decision hearing and their deportation. 
Mr. McNulty: Schedule three of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 sets out the eligibility of various categories of migrant, including failed asylum seekers who have exhausted all avenues of appeal, for local authority support. The Home Office issued guidance on the implementation of schedule three to Local Authorities and Housing Authorities in December 2002.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed asylum seekers have been evicted from their homes in Leeds, North-West before being deported from the UK in the last 12 months. 
Mr. McNulty: Between 1 October 2004 and 30 September 2005, 11 people supported by NASS with addresses within the area of Leeds North West had their support stopped following a final negative decision on their claim for asylum.
Responsibility for eviction rests with accommodation providers. NASS does not keep a central record showing the number of evictions which are confirmed. However, NASS pays providers for accommodation occupied by asylum seekers only. Consequently providers are not be paid for accommodation occupied without authority.
9 Jan 2006 : Column 355W
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when each pilot of section 9 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc) Act 2004 was established; how many families have had support withdrawn to date; and how many children have been affected. 
Under the section nine pilot, support is only withdrawn where a family whose asylum claim has failed has refused, without reasonable excuse, to take steps to return home. The National Asylum Support Service only withdraws a family's support when this can be done without breaching any person's human rights.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many enforcement home visits were carried out by immigration service staff in England and Wales between 1 April 2005 and 30 September 2005. 
Mr. McNulty: Records show that between 1 April 2005 and 30 September 2005 Immigration Service staff conducted 3697 enforcement visits to residential addresses in England and Wales. This is management information only.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 28 November 2005, Official Report, column 26W, on asylum immigration, if he will make a statement on the increase in deportations of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe. 
Mr. McNulty: The increase in the number of removals of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe was a consequence of resuming enforced returns to Zimbabwe on 16 November 2004. I refer the hon. Gentleman to my statement of 14 December 2005, Official Report, columns 15354WS for the latest position.
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