Asylum Seekers

Home Department written question – answered on 6th November 2001.

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Photo of Peter Lilley Peter Lilley Conservative, Hitchin and Harpenden

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Government began requiring asylum seekers to be fingerprinted.

Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Parliamentary Secretary (Home office)

holding answer 1 November 2001

The power to fingerprint asylum seekers and their dependants was introduced in the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993. However, the introduction of a computerised fingerprint storage system in December 2000 has allowed for the quick and effective electronic checking of prints of all asylum seekers against the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's records. Remote checking of fingerprints has been made possible which was not the case under the paper system. The introduction of smart cards will build on this technology to tackle fraud.

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