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Home Office did set illegal immigrant removal targets

By Alan McGuinness, Political Reporter
The Home Office did set targets for the voluntary removal of illegal immigrants, it has emerged.
A 2015 report shows the department set a target of 12,000 voluntary departures in 2015/16, up from 7,200 in 2014/15.The disclosure of the regional targets, split between 19 Immigration Compliance and Enforcement (ICE) teams across the UK, contradicts evidence given by Home Secretary Amber Rudd to Parliament on Wednesday."We don't have targets for removals," she told the Home Affairs Select Committee."If you are asking me if there are numbers of people we expect to be removed, that's not how we operate."
Home Office did set illegal immigrant removal targets

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The section of the report that mentions the targets
Speaking after Ms Rudd's appearance, a spokesman for her department said it has "never been Home Office policy to take decisions arbitrarily to meet a target".Home Affairs Select Committee chair Yvette Cooper, who grilled Ms Rudd over the Government's handling of immigration in the wake of the Windrush row, said the Home Office's response was a "complete fudge".Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott has been granted an urgent question in the Commons to ask Ms Rudd if she make a statement to MPs on immigration targets.Labour's Sir Keir Starmer has told Sky News the "sensible" thing would be for the Home Secretary to come to Parliament and make a statement setting out what the full position is on targets "otherwise there can't be real accountability".The Home Secretary has faced calls to resign over a scandal which has seen long-term residents of the UK, who came to Britain in the decades after the Second World War, wrongly stripped of benefits and threatened with deportation.
More questions for Amber Rudd this morning. She told MPs yesterday; "We don't have targets for removals. If you are asking me if there are numbers of people we expect to be removed, that's not how we operate". Will @YvetteCooperMP table an UQ?— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) April 26, 2018
She attempted to get a grip on the row on Monday when she unveiled a package of emergency measures, which includes a fast-track offer of UK citizenship and a compensation scheme.Appearing before the committee of MPs on Wednesday, Ms Rudd spoke of her "bitter regret" at failing to grasp the scale of the furore sooner.But the row over the Windrush generation has also provoked scrutiny of Prime Minister Theresa May's "hostile environment" immigration policy brought in during her time as home secretary from 2010-16.The target for voluntary departures, which happen when an individual or family tells the authorities of their intention to leave the UK, is contained in a December 2015 report from the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.Voluntary departures also include people who approach the Home Office for financial help with their travel arrangements.
Home Office did set illegal immigrant removal targets

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The report said: "For 2014/15 (10 full months) the Home Office set a target of 7,200 voluntary departures, an average of 120 per week, with the weekly target rising to 160 by the end of March 2015."For 2015/16, the annual target was raised to 12,000. These targets were split between the 19 ICE teams across the UK."
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The report also said the Home Office had a process for returning families who had no legal right to remain in the UK, something which had a "single numerical target".The target was "not a useful performance measure" due to the varying nature of cases year to year, the report added.
news.sky.com
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