13:50 24 January 2013
Inspectors discovered a new backlog of immigration cases a report has confirmed, as the UK Border Agency (UKBA) was found to have a backlog of 16,000 migrant cases.
It is believed that 2,000 of the cases had been filed in a box awaiting a decision to be reached for as long as up to ten years. And the inspectors found that 14,000 of the cases related to migrants who had been refused to stay in the country, but who wanted to oppose the decision.
It is thought the 14,000 cases related to individuals who wanted to seek refuge in Britain based on their marriage or civil partnership.
According to sources, this situation was growing as staff were supposedly waiting for a policy in order to deal with the cases, although management has claimed that there should have been no delay.
Some reports state that Chief Inspector of borders and immigration John Vine has said the decisions reached on many cases were understandable.
Although other reports state that when it came to the backlog of migrant cases concerning marriage, Mr. Vine’s view was that it was “unacceptable”.
He said: “It’s entirely unacceptable that cases are discovered in this way and go back for so many years.”
Mark Harper, the Immigration Minister, defended the UKBA. He said: “We inherited an agency which had a lot of problems, we've got a new management team to deal with it. They're getting a grip and dealing with it.”
Of the 14,000 cases concerning marriage, Mr. Harper explained that decisions were reached but that individuals should use the correct procedure if they wanted to oppose a decision.
When speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme he said: “And what the Border Agency should have said in the past, it should have said 'no, there's an appeal process, if you don't like the decision, appeal'”.
A policy is now place to handle appeals when it comes to individuals wanting to stay in the UK.
However, Mr. Harper also said: “Those people who have been refused are not allowed to stay here should leave the country and we will be taking steps to make sure that they do."
It is understood that changes have been made with regards to many of the issues uncovered.
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