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One million illegal migrants in the UK?

One million illegal migrants in the UK?

  • 11/10/2017
  • Answered by Red Square London’s Immigration Specialist, Oliver Westmoreland – Ответил наш Специалист по Иммиграционным Вопросам, Оливер Вестморлэнд
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IMMIGRATION BLOG

One million illegal migrants in the UK?

11 October 2017

One shouldn’t of course believe everything one reads in the papers, even if the source is a respectable one. But according to David Wood, ex-head of Home Office Immigration Enforcement – in giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee – there are more than one million illegal migrants currently in the UK.

The figure sounds a large one but, for obvious reasons, great uncertainty surrounds the subject. Some migrants have come legally to the UK but have overstayed their visas; others have claimed asylum and been refused but have not left. Accurate figures are not available for these categories, and some migrants have come clandestinely to the UK and of course there are no meaningful figures for them at all.

And so, hardly surprisingly, previous studies have produced wildly varying figures. A Home Office spokesman probably put it the best way: “There are no official estimates of the number of illegal immigrants living in the UK, as illegal migration is a clandestine activity,” and they went on to say, logically enough, that “we do not recognise the one million figure suggested by David Wood.”

They also added, rather plaintively, that “We expect those with no basis of stay to leave voluntarily” and, with admirable optimism, “where they do not we will enforce their removal”.

Easier said than done of course. The Home Office frequently threatens to remove migrants – in some cases even before they have got on the wrong side of the overstaying rules.

In any event, if you are an illegal migrant you are fully entitled to take legal advice from an immigration lawyer about your situation. Your lawyer has to respect your confidentiality.

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