§ Mr. Marlow
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many hon. members have currently got a stop on one or more immigration cases;
(2) what proportion of stops is placed by hon. members on behalf of immigrants or relatives of immigrants resident in their own constituencies;
(3) how many immigration cases are currently subject to a stop;
(4) how many immigration cases have been placed on stop over the last 12 months;
(5) what is his policy with regard to placing a stop on an immigration case when (a) the approach is made by an hon. Member's secretary by telephone and (b) the approach is made by a lawyer stating that he has the agreement of an hon. Member.
§ Mr. Waddington
[pursuant to his reply, 24 October 1985 c. 209]: The policy is to accept in good faith approaches by hon. Members, or their personal 404W representatives, on the assumption that detailed representations about cases on which a stop has been placed will be submitted very quickly.
In the period from 1 January to 30 September this year hon. Members made representations in 4,146 cases handled by the immigration service compared with 3,532 in the whole of 1984. From 1 to 22 October an additional 764 representations have been received, bringing the total so far this year to 4,910. Currently representations are being considered in 3,325 passenger arrival cases. This substantial growth in case work is a cause for serious concern since the additional resources required to handle it are being drawn from the initial control at ports of entry and the longer this persists the more serious will become the impact on large numbers of other passengers. The more that representations are made, and the longer they take to deal with, the longer it is that persons refused entry are likely to stay in this country; and where it is not possible to serve removal directions within two months of the date of refusal the cost of removal may fall on public funds. Comprehensive information is not separately available of the number of hon. Members making representations nor on what proportion of stops is placed by hon. Members on behalf of passengers whose relatives or sponsors in this country are their constituents.
§ Mr. Shore
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many Bangladeshi nationals, applying for visits to the United Kingdom have been detained prior to a decision being made whether to admit or refuse, for July, August and September, broken down on a monthly basis, compared with the same period in 1984;
(2) how many Bangladeshis have genuinely absconded from temporary admission during the period July to September, compared with the same period in 1984;
(3) how many Bangladeshi visit refusals have resulted in representations from Members of Parliament for July, August and September, broken down on a monthly basis, compared with the same period in 1984;
(4) how many Bangladeshi nationals have been granted temporary admission for 10 days or more, on arrival, but on reporting back for their first interview have been refused and detained with no further temporary admission, in the months July to September, compared with same period in 1984;
(5) how many Bangladeshis have married while on temporary admission after claiming to be here for short visits during the period July to September 1985;
(6) how many Bangladeshi nationals were refused entry for visits at Heathrow in July, August and September, broken down on a monthly basis, compared with same period in 1984;
(7) how many Bengali interpreters were employed by the immigration service at Heathrow for the period July to October;
(8) what is his policy concerning detaining passengers awaiting decisions on applications for entry or results of representations by Members of Parliament in prison accommodation;
(9) If he will make a statement on the circumstances in which a large number of visitors were detained on the night of 4 October in the Queen's building, Heathrow, Harmondsworth detention centre and Ashford remand centre and in the case of at least one visitor from Bangladesh in a cell at the Northside police station.405W
§ Mr. Waddington
[pursuant to his reply, 24 October 1985, c. 208–9]: Information about the number of citizens of Bangladesh recently refused leave to enter, including those who sought entry as visitors is available only from terminal 3 at Heathrow, as is the information requested about the number of representations from hon. Members, and that about absconders. The available information is as follows:
1984 1985 Refusals of Entry July 22 129 August 28 237 September 22 318 TOTAL 72 684 Representations from Hon. Members July 7 57 August 4 122 September 5 181 TOTAL 16 360 Absconders who cannot be traced July–September 2 24
As far as detention is concerned, in the London airports area the immigration service detention centres at Harmondsworth, Queen's building and Gatwick are able to accommodate those passengers who are not considered appropriate to be granted temporary admission. Where this cannot be done passengers are detained in Ashford remand centre and, exceptionally, in other prison accommodation or in police cells. In recent weeks there has been a sharp rise in the arrival rate of nationals of Bangladesh who have been refused entry, a number of whom have not been considered appropriate to be granted temporary admission. On 4 October the number of people to be detained exceeded the available accommodation at the Harmonsworth, Queen's building and Gatwick detention centres. Those passengers for whom room could not be found in any of the three centres were detained in Ashford remand centre with the exception of one person who was detained at Uxbridge police station.
Three full-time and six hourly-paid Bengali interpreters were employed by the immigration service at Heathrow during the period July to October. The other information requested is either not available or not available in the form requested.
§ Mr. Tony Banks
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the number of arrivals in the United Kingdom from (a) Bangladesh, (b) India, (c) Pakistan and (d) Sri Lanka detained by the immigration authorities in each week during the past three months.
§ Mr. Waddington
[pursuant to his reply, 25 October 1985, c. 270]: The following figures, which are provisional, give the information available on the number of occasions on which passengers were taken by the immigration authorities to approved detention accommodation. They are based on returns from all ports of entry plus returns from the detention facilities at Harmondsworth and Heathrow Queen's building. Passengers who were taken to different buildings at different times may have been counted more than once. 406W Some of those detained will subsequently have been granted temporary admission to the United Kingdom while consideration of their case is completed.
Nationality July August September Bangladesh 113 114 170 India 131 106 105 Pakistan 112 106 92 Sri Lanka 17 20 32