Clause 32

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 20th March 2007.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Minister of State (Home Office) (Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality) 12:00 pm, 20th March 2007

Absolutely. It is often difficult to explain why it is sometimes slightly harder in the real world.

A key part of the removals process is getting people redocumented. I remember being struck by a story told to me by immigration officers at Dover immigration removal centre. As we were going round I asked why people were there for longer than they needed to be, and the officers said that individuals have often embedded themselves in such a web of lies about who they are and where they are from that it is difficult to convince a foreign Government to reissue them a passport so that they can go back home.

One of the key things that we need in our system is incentives to encourage people to co-operate with the redocumentation process so that we can work effectively with foreign Governments and emergency travel documents can be issued to individuals. If somebody knew that they would be released on bail if they strung the process out for six months, we would not strengthen but rather diminish the incentives for foreign national prisoners to co-operate with the documentation process.