A new report from the Public Accounts Committee- a cross-party parliamentary group- has found the Home Office’s UK immigration policies to be based on ‘anecdote, assumption and prejudice’.
The report states that Priti Patel’s Home Office has ‘no idea’ about the actual impact its immigration policies have on people’s lives, and that it displays ‘very little concern’ over the harm inflicted upon immigrant populations in the UK.
Meg Hillier, the chair of the committee, denounced the Home Office for showing little desire to change its ways following the Windrush Scandal, before stating that the evidence they saw ‘inspires no confidence’ that a similar-style calamity isn’t just around the corner.
‘The Home Office has frighteningly little grasp of the impact of its activities in managing immigration. It shows no inclination to learn from its numerous mistakes across a swathe of immigration activities – even when it fully accepts that it has made serious errors.’
According to the report, the Home Office’s failure to compile accurate data means that the department has ‘no idea’ how many undocumented migrants are currently residing in the UK. Records state that the last time the Home Office actually attempted to calculate this figure was in 2005.
Further to this, the department ‘does not know’ whether the controversial ‘hostile environment’ approach succeeds in its intended purpose of discouraging ‘illegal immigrants’ from entering the country.
The Hostile Environment was introduced in 2012 during Theresa May’s tenure as Home Secretary as part of a clampdown on irregular migration. It has subsequently come under intense criticism for the uncompromising and unjust nature of its policies, which include allowing landlords to conduct immigration checks before deciding whether or not to let a property to a prospective tenant.
A Home Office spokesperson has stated that whilst Home Secretary Priti Patel accepts much of the criticisms made in the report, the majority of it is related to ‘historical issues’ within the department:
‘The Home Secretary agrees with the assessment made by the public accounts committee of historical issues at the Home Office. She has spoken at great length how the department puts process before people and is why she has committed to implementing the findings of the Wendy Williams Review into Windrush.’
The report holds that almost two-thirds (62 percent) of UK immigration detainees in 2019 were released without being deported back to their home countries as originally planned, an increase on the 2018 figure of 58 percent. The Home Office is reportedly unaware of why the figure is so high.
A major lack of diversity within Home Office senior roles coupled with an insufficient evidence base for immigration policies has resulted in ‘blind spots’, the committee state, before pointing to the Windrush Scandal as evidence of the type of issues created by the situation.
Lack of diversity within the Executive Committee
Just one member of the Home Office Executive Committee is from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background.
‘The department acknowledges how close it came to being declared institutionally racist in the Windrush ‘lessons learned’ review and that it has to change its culture.
It recognises the value of greater diversity for enabling better decision-making, leadership and governance, though only one member of the department’s current executive committee comes from a BAME background.’
How we can help
If you’re considering making an immigration application, our OISC-accredited lawyers are here to help you.
We are highly proficient in all areas of immigration law, from British Citizenship applications to Spouse Visa Extensions, and have a proud track record of securing approved applications for our client.
Contact our client care team today on 0333 305 9375 for more information.
The report states that the Home Office has ‘no idea’ how many undocumented migrants are currently residing in the UK. [Image: Relocate Magazine]
The report was released by the Public Accounts Committee, a cross-party parliamentary group responsible for overseeing public expenditures. [Image: Unsplash]
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration lawyers will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.