67,980 People Removed From UK In 2008
Friday, 28 August 2009

The UK government have released annual immigration statistics for 2008 and quarterly immigration figures to June 2009, covering migration from Eastern Europe, asylum applications and removals and voluntary departures.

The figures released by the Home Office on Thursday show that work applications from the eight accession countries have continued to fall in 2009. In the second quarter of this year there were 26,150 applications from workers in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia and the Czech Republic--down from 46,070 in the same period in 2008.

The number of Bulgarian and Romanians applying for accession worker cards also continues to fall. There were only 580 applications in the second quarter of 2009, a fall of 43 percent, compared with the same quarter in 2008.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) published figures on Thursday that show that net-migration fell to 118,000 in 2008, from 209,000 in 2007, the lowest since the eight accession countries joined the EU in 2004.

In the first half of 2009, 30,435 people staying illegally in the UK were removed or voluntarily departed from the country, including 2,550 foreign prisoners. The latest figures also confirm that a total of 67,980 people were removed or voluntarily departed in 2008.

Individuals seeking asylum in the UK has remained broadly at the same level over the past four years. Still, it is less than a third of the level when it peaked in 2002.

Applications for asylum in the second quarter of 2009 were 6,045 compared with 5,830 in quarter two of 2008. The Home Office is now concluding 60 percent of new asylum cases within six months.

In a statement to the media, UK border and immigration minister Phil Woolas said: "The fall in net-migration is further proof that migrants come to the UK for short periods of time, work, contribute to the economy and then return home.

"Our new flexible points based system gives us greater control on those coming to work or study from outside Europe, ensuring that only those that Britain need can come. Britain's borders are stronger than ever before.

"Our border controls in northern France are stopping record numbers of migrants reaching our shores--28,000 in 2008, " Woolas added.

"We are rolling out ID cards to foreign nationals, we have introduced civil penalties for those employing illegal workers and from the end of next year our electronic border system will monitor 95 per cent of journeys in and out of the UK.

"The British people can be confident that immigration is under control," said minister.

Source: bdnews24.com

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