UKBA to launch immigrant database

The UK Border Agency has announced its intention to launch a database of information about immigrants to the UK.

The National Allegation Database will be used to track down over-stayers and illegal immigrants, clear the backlog of 276,000 immigration cases and ultimately prevent people from staying in the country illegally.

The UKBA intends to keep records of all those coming to Britain from outside the European Union, particularly those with UK Tier 4 student visas. These details will be taken from various sources, including flight records.

The database will also contain details of any allegations of over-staying made by members of the public. Currently, the UKBA is struggling to follow up on all allegations. Between December 2011 and March 2012, they received 25 600 claims about suspected illegal immigrants and only managed to follow up on 900 of these cases.

Immigration minister Damian Green hopes the new scheme will give border agency staff more time to carry out enforcement operations and reduce the backlog.

“We’re concentrating much more on enforcement,” he said. “From debrief interviews we’ve found that a third of people decide to overstay at the point their visa expires. If we can send these people letters warning of the consequences of illegally overstaying then I’m sure we can reduce the total number deciding to remain.”

Individuals in the “migration refusal pool” will receive letters warning them that they will be deported and barred from entering the UK if they do not leave within 28 days.

The database will be launched in September.

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