Clause 17

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 13th March 2007.

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Photo of John Hemming John Hemming Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley 5:30 pm, 13th March 2007

The hon. Member for Bristol, East said that we need to think again. She referred to evidence from Australia. We should be looking for evidence on the most effective way of handling the asylum process. If people are rejected and have been through all the appeals processes, they clearly have no right to remain in the country and should go. Is it best to say to them, “Disappear, we don’t want to see you” or to keep some track of where they are so that they can eventually be removed through an administrative process? At the moment we have a process that says, “Disappear: go and work in the twilight economy or whatever. Do what you want. We want to pretend that you don’t exist.” Then, with a bit of luck, some few years down the track, somebody from the IND might find where a person is and try to get rid of them, although they will probably just zap across to somewhere else in the country.

We need to start looking at evidence. The experience in Australia is that such an approach is not the best way of achieving the outcome that we wish to see: if somebody has no right to stay here, they are not here. From an administrative point of view, the current approach does not work. The issue raised by new clause 15 needs a little more attention than simply saying “It won’t work.”