Britain loses track of thousands of asylum seekers

The work of the UK Border Agency has been slammed in a report by British Parliament Members. The document suggests at least 60,000 asylum seekers may be left to live illegally in the UK because the agency has lost all trace of them.

According to the report, of 450,000 claims identified in 2006, at least one in seven “will be concluded on the basis that the UK Border Agency (UKBA) has been completely unable to trace what has happened to the applicant,” the Press Association agency reported.

"While we agree that the UK Border Agency should not spend unlimited time trying to track down missing applicants, we are concerned about the high proportion of cases which will be left, in effect, in limbo," the report said. "Again, this points to the vital need to deal with cases as expeditiously as possible and not to let backlogs grow."

There are a combination of factors that have led to the problem, said research fellow from Center for Social Cohesion, Robin Simcox.

“I think there is a huge problem with Britain’s inability to deport, generally. Being part of the European Union we often cannot deport people back to their country of origin because it may contravene the European Convention on Human Rights,” he said. “On top of that, there is a systemic problem where the huge backlog of cases, and we have something like a half million backlog of cases, simply cannot be processed and cannot be dealt with quickly enough.”