4 Immigration Enforcement |
The Migration Refusal Pool
- At the end of Q4 2013, there were 179,932 cases
in the Migration Refusal Pool (MRP) down from 182,251 in the previous
- By the end of Q4 2013, Capita has assessed
248,800 cases. Of these, 47,300 (19%) cases were confirmed as
- 121,000 (49%) of cases were assessed as having
a barrier to removal and were passed back to the Home Office.
A further 50,000 (20%) cases had the confirmed outcome that no
contact can be made.
Suspension and revocation of
50. Sponsors are required to inform UKVI if there
is a change in certain circumstances regarding the migrant they
have sponsored, for example if a person with a Tier 2 visa no
longer works for the sponsoring employer. If the information provided
by the sponsor about the change in circumstances suggest that
the employee is in breach of their visa then enforcement action
can be taken against the employee. Employers that qualify for
a Tier 2 sponsorship licence are required to follow various procedures,
for example maintaining accurate records. If the Home Office suspects
that a sponsor is not acting according to the stipulated criteria
then they may investigate the sponsor. This can lead to the licence
being either suspended, downgraded or revoked.
The chart below shows the number of notifications
of potential sponsor non-compliance received.
- 27,078 notifications of potential non-compliance
were received in Q4 2013 for Tier 4, up from 21,678 in the previous
- 5,518 notifications were received in Q4 2013
for Tiers 2 and 5, down from 5,717 in the previous quarter.
- A total of 23,252 notifications of potential
non-compliance were followed up in Q4 2013, up from 19,779 in
the previous quarter.
- 131 Tier 2 sponsors had their licenses revoked
in Q4 2013, down from 174 in the previous quarter. 214 Tier 2
sponsors had their licenses suspended, up from 77 in the previous
- 12 Tier 4 sponsors had their licenses revoked
in Q4 2013, down from 23 in the previous quarter. 23 Tier 4 sponsors
had their licenses suspended, down from 46 in the previous quarter.
- 11 Tier 5 sponsors had their licenses revoked
in Q4 2013, down from 18 in the previous quarter. 31 Tier 5 sponsors
had their licenses suspended, up from 11 in the previous quarter.
SUSPENSION OF EDUCATION SPONSOR
51. In June 2014, the Home Office suspended the sponsor
licences of Glyndwr University, the University of West London
and at the University of Bedfordshire, and 57 privately operated
further education colleges following abuse of the English language
test that overseas students take to demonstrate they can speak
English at an appropriate level. On 24 June, James Brokenshire,
Immigration and Security Minister, told the House that if students
had to cheat to pass an English language test, then it was it
was "highly doubtful that many of the colleges, and some
universities, that sponsored them in numbers were fulfilling their
duties as "highly-trusted sponsors".
In a letter to the Committee, Mr Brokenshire revealed that there
may have been as many as 48,000 test results of serious concern,
UKVI and immigration enforcement officers have
been investigating many of these colleges and universities because
of wider concerns about their conduct. The evidence they have
provided of what is going on in these institutions is cause for
52. The recent episode of English
Language testing abuse illustrates the need for UKVI and Immigration
Enforcement to continue to inspect education providers, and for
as many of the visits as possible to be unannounced. We note that
the greatest proportion of unannounced follow-up visits is overwhelmingly
to Tier 2 employers and that a much smaller number is to education
sponsors under Tier 4. The Home Office should explain why the
number of unannounced visits are so overwhelmingly for Tier 2
employers rather than Tier 4 education providers.
53. We have repeatedly called on
the Home Office to increase the number of unannounced follow-up
visits to visa sponsors and we welcome the dramatic improvement
54. While we entirely support the
government's aim to crack down on bogus colleges and any organisations
that have wilfully helped people to evade immigration controls,
it is not appropriate to punish institutions where there is no
evidence to support allegations of wrongdoing. The Home Office
should act promptly to tell suspended organisations exactly what
they are accused of, and to immediately end suspensions unless
there is clear evidence.
RULE 35 REPORTS
Rule 35 of the detention Centre Rules states that
medical practitioners are required to report to the Home Office
any detainee whose health is likely to be injuriously affected
by detention or any condition of detention and any detainee they
are concerned may be a victim of torture
The chart below shows the number of Rule 35 Reports
made to the Department since the beginning of 2012.
- 436 reports under Rule 35 were made in Q4 2013.
This is an increase from 431 in Q3 2013.
- In Q4 2013 only 9% of reports under Rule 35
resulted in the individual being released.
56. In Q3 2013 there were 431 Rule 35 Reports submitted
but only 9% of these reports led to a person being released. Q4
had a similar pattern, with 436 Rule 35 Reports and only 9% of
the Reports leading to a release. We have heard concerns about
access to doctors in Immigration Removal Centres, inconsistent
quality of Rule 35 reports and the mismanagement of detainees'
healthcare. An unannounced
inspection of Immigration Removal Centre Harmondsworth by HM Chief
Inspector of Prisons also criticized the application of Rule 35
following the death of Alois Dvorzac, an 84 year old Canadian
citizen on his way to Slovenia, taken off the plane at Gatwick
and detained in Harmondsworth. The HMIP Report said:
The Rule 35 process did not provide assurance
that the most vulnerable would be protected against the effects
of detention [...].All 11 reports that we examined in detail concerned
torture and contained body maps but many were of poor quality.
Seven reports contained no diagnostic findings and did not comment
on whether the medical evidence was consistent with the reported
ill-treatment. In five of the seven cases, the Home Office referred
to the lack of diagnostic comment as a reason for maintaining
On 30 January, Mr Dvorzac was seen by a doctor who
declared him unfit for detention and said he should be receiving
social care. He was not released from detention, but transported
back and forth to hospital in handcuffs, before finally passing
away on 10 February. He died wearing handcuffs.
57. We raised concerns about the effectiveness of
Rule 35 Reports with the Home Office in April. The Immigration
Minister told the Committee that there had been new guidance and
instruction on completing Rule 35 reports, mandatory training
for officers in immigration detention, and there would be an audit
of Rule 35 processes between April and June 2013.
The Minister wrote to the Committee later to provide more detail
on the audit:
The Home Office's Quality Audit Team, whose role
is to assess the quality of decision-making in asylum and other
cases, will carry out an assessment of Rule 35 casework between
April and June 2014. This will involve an examination of a random
sample of 60 cases from the first quarter of 2014 and will consider
whether all mandatory processes and actions, as set out in Rule
35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001 and the Rule 35 Asylum Instruction,
have been adhered to. On the basis of its findings, it will identify
good practice and make recommendations for improvement where appropriate.
58. We welcome the audit of Rule
35 casework and look forward to seeing the results, and what action
the Home Office will take in light of the audit. We are still
concerned that such a small percentage of Rule 35 Reports lead
to release. We will continue to look at this subject as part of
our ongoing work into Immigration Removal Centres.
CHILDREN IN IMMIGRATION DETENTION
The chart below shows the number of children leaving
immigration detention when they had been held for more than 3
- In Q4 2013 63 children entered immigration
detention, down from 65 in the previous quarter. 67 children left
immigration detention in Q4 2013, up from 63 in the previous quarter.
- Most children who leave detention do so within
a short period - 73% had been held for less than 3 days in Q4
Foreign national offenders
Foreign National Offenders released from prison
and transferred to immigration detention
- In Q4 2013 1,029 FNOs were released from prison
and transferred to immigration detention, down from 1,050 in the
- In Q4 2013 2 FNOs were released without consideration
Foreign National Offenders released into the community
- 336 ex-FNOs eligible for deportation were released
into the community in Q4 2013, 96% of their cases were outstanding,
i.e. the Home Office would still like to deport them.
The chart below shows outstanding FNOs released from
prison by status.
Removing Foreign National Offenders - Worse performance
- It took 111 days on average to deport an ex-FNO
in Q4 2013, up from 99 days in the previous quarter.
- There were 305 failed removal attempts in Q4
2013, up from 265 in the previous quarter.
- 44% of removals were carried out during the
Early Release Scheme period in Q4 2013. 29% of removals were carried
out under the Facilitated Returns Scheme in Q4 2013.
Ex foreign national offenders living in the community
The chart below shows there were 4,153 ex FNOs living
in the community in Q4 2013, compared to 4,169 in the previous
quarter. The proportion of ex FNOs living in the community over
two years is 66%.
59. Following the evidence session on 1 April 2014,
the Home Office sent the Committee a list of the Foreign National
Offenders by nationality. The list is published by the Ministry
of Justice and is available on their website.
60. The Prime Minister gave evidence to the Liaison
Committee in May, and was asked about measures to reduce the number
of foreign national offenders in the UK. He said:
I am willing to look at anything. This is one
of my bugbears. [
] Since 2010, 19,000 foreign national offenders
have been removed, but it is really difficult to get this fixed
and I find it immensely frustrating, because having all these
people in our prisons when they should be elsewhere is an enormous
waste of money. I am very happy to look at the idea of finding
out nationality at the point of sentence. I have assigned seven
Ministers to the various countries to sort out prisoner transfer
agreements with Nigeria, Vietnam and China. So that is one avenue
that we are taking. We have got the European prisoner transfer
agreement that has not kicked in with some of the key countries,
such as Poland, and we need to get that fixed.
our previous report we recommended that the Home Office extend
Operation Nexus, an initiative in London where immigration officers
are embedded in police custody suites to identify foreign nationals
at the point of arrest, to other parts of the country. We welcome
that the operating model has been extended to the West Midlands
and Greater Manchester, and that the Home Office is considering
extending the initiative further. The purpose of Operation Nexus
is to identify and manage foreign national offenders more effectively.
National Offenders currently make up about 13% of the prison population.
As the Prime Minister said, having all these people in our prisons
is an enormous waste of money. Reducing the number of Foreign
National Offenders in our prisons is in all our interests, and
finding ways to identify those criminals who could be deported
before they enter prison would be an enormous help. The Home Office
should publicise any positive impact that Operation Nexus has
had and, in particular, the number of foreign nationals identified
as foreign nationals and deported as a result. We note the positive
steps taken towards starting the deportation process early as
part of Operation Nexus. We recommend that the Government go further
and compel offenders to prove their nationality at the point of
sentencing or face penal sanctions. This would enable the Home
Office to start the process of deportation of offenders more quickly
and to ensure it runs more smoothly.
62. We also commented in our last report on the mechanism
for identifying and stopping undesirable people from entering
the country. A recent report from the Parliamentary and Health
Service Ombudsman detailed a case where a concerned mother, Mrs
A, alerted the Home Office that a foreign national, at the time
in a relationship with Mrs A's daughter, and with a criminal record
for violent offences that they had lied about, was about to come
into the country. Mrs A provided the Home Office with information
but they did not act to stop the individual entering the country,
check if he had entered the country, or act once Mrs A again informed
them of her concerns that he had entered the country. The man
was finally arrest five months later, and only after he had "embarked
upon a prolonged and escalating campaign against Mrs A's daughter
and her family" including setting fire to Mrs A's house.
The Ombudsman's report explained that Mrs A gave the Home Office
information on the foreign national's flight two working days
before he was due to arrive and yet his details were only added
to the watchlist, or warnings index, after he had arrived and
passed through border control.
63. As a result of the Ombudsman's report, the Home
Office will carry out and publish the outcomes of three separate
reviews into: checking visa applicants' statements about their
overseas criminal records and good character, handling allegations
including their use of and access to the watchlist, and dealing
64. The case detailed in the Parliamentary
Ombudsman's report clearly shows the importance of constantly
updating and monitoring the watchlist. The Home Office must act
upon the Ombudsman's report and ensure that cases similar to that
of Mrs A's family are not repeated.
62 HC Deb 24 June 2014, col 206 Back
Letter from James Brokenshire to the Chair, Abuse of immigration student route,
25 June 2014 Back
DQ40013 Medical Justice Back
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre,
August 2013, Para 1.81 Back
Ibid., Para 1.86 Back
Q 105 Back
Letter from James Brokenshire to the Chair, Abuse of immigration student route,
25 June 2014 Back
Oral evidence taken before the Liaison Committee, 13 May 2014,
Q 44 Back
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Home Office failures put a family in danger: A report by the Parliamentary Ombudsman on an investigation into a complaint by Mrs A and her family about the Home Office,
July 2014 Back