An immigration computer database is being set up to track down the 150,000 people who are staying in Britain illegally, it was revealed yesterday.
Letters will be sent to those in the ‘migration refusal pool’ warning that they will be deported and barred from entering the UK if they do not leave within 28 days.
Private companies currently tendering for the multi-million pound contract include G4S, the controversial security firm which failed to deliver enough staff for the Olympic Games.
Passenger records held in the e-borders database, which covers details of all flights outside Europe to and from Britain, will be checked and there will be careful monitoring of the 100 immigrants whose visas expire daily.
It comes after it was revealed last month that 40 per cent of immigrants who have been refused leave to stay in the country have not been sent the forms demanding they leave.
Tens of thousands of these lapsed visa cases date back more than five years and are a legacy of Labour’s catastrophic mismanagement of Britain’s immigration system.
Immigration minister Damian Green said he hoped the new scheme would allow Border Agency staff more time to carry out enforcement operations and reduce the backlog.
He said: ‘We’re concentrating much more on enforcement. From debrief interviews we’ve found that a third of people decide to overstay at the point their visa expires.
‘If we can send these people letters warning of the consequences of illegally overstaying then I’m sure we can reduce the total number deciding to remain.’
The move follows a UKBA summer-long drive to remove visa ‘overstayers’ that has led to thousands being removed, with 2,000 of those being in London alone.
The majority of those targeted entered the country on student visas which have now expired. Mr Green said they mainly came from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Brazil and Nigeria and were now working illegally.
An operation in the capital yesterday resulted in three arrests. Two Pakistani nationals and an Iranian man were arrested in Walworth and Brixton, South London, for allegedly working illegally.
One 28-year-old Iranian was arrested by the same immigration officer at a Halal butchers three years ago. Another Pakistani man smirked as he was led away in handcuffs in what was his third arrest by UKBA staff.
The chief inspector of immigration, John Vine, criticised the UKBA for not having a strategy for reducing the pool of overstayers last month.
The only guidance staff were given for dealing with cases in this 150,000-strong group was that the total size of the pool should not be allowed to increase.
Vine said his greatest concern during his inspection of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight immigration team was over the ‘150,000-plus cases nationally that are sitting in a migration refusal pool’.
The chief inspector concluded that UKBA staff reported it being impossible to know whether the 150,000 were still in Britain or had left voluntarily.
In total, the UKBA faces an enormous backlog of 276,000 immigration cases. The growing total includes asylum seekers, foreign criminals and illegal migrants and is equivalent to the population of Newcastle.
MPs sitting on the Commons Home Affairs Committee said the UK has become a ‘Bermuda Triangle’ for migrants, a country where it is ‘easy to get in, but impossible to keep track of everyone, let alone get them out.’
In addition, around 21,000 new asylum cases have built up because officials were able to process only 63 per cent of last year’s applications.
There are also 3,900 foreign criminals living in the community and free to commit more crimes, including more than 800 who have been at large for five years or more.
Source: RYAN KISIEL-??dailymail.co.uk