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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 May, 2003, 23:06 GMT 00:06 UK
Asylum report at-a-glance
Here are the main points raised by the Commons home affairs select committee in their report on the repatriation of failed asylum seekers.

  • The UK has seen the number of asylum seekers landing on its shores spiral since the end of the Cold War

  • If allowed to continue unchecked there is an "inevitable" danger of social unrest

  • Failure to deal effectively and humanely with the issue of asylum may cause a political backlash resulting in the rise of extremists

  • Public trust in the asylum system depends on the efficient removal of people whose claims have failed

  • The committee recognises the removals process is far more complicated than most people appreciate

  • The current number of failed asylum seekers remaining in the UK is impossible to estimate without accurate statistics

  • Enforced removals need to be carried out rapidly, effectively and humanely

  • Asylum seekers and economic migrants deserve to be treated humanely and not as statistics

  • There have been "improvements" to the removals process in recent months

  • Embarkation controls should be put in place to check who is leaving the country

  • False targets such as the government's pledge to remove 30,000 failed asylum seekers each year, subsequently dropped, arouse false expectations and are demoralising

  • When a removal of an asylum seeker is delayed not through their own fault they should not be left destitute

  • People who are unable to return to their countries should be granted temporary status so they can support themselves

  • Quarterly figures of all those detained should be published by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate

  • Strip searches of detainees should only be carried out where there is reasonable suspicion to justify such an action

  • A "modest allowance" should be provided to returnees to make sure they do not return to destitution in their countries

  • The committee paid tribute to the workers in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate for carrying out a difficult job with "dignity, humanity and fairness"

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