In response to the publication of the National Audit Office report into the removal of failed asylum seekers Margaret Lally, Deputy Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said:
“This report raises a number of important life-saving and cost-saving issues.
“It shows that the problems in the asylum decision-making and support systems are being felt in the removals part of the system, and need to be tackled if we are to have a process that is both fair and cost-effective.
“The NAO once again points out that the longer people are in the country, the harder it is to remove them. The number of asylum decisions overturned at appeal remains very high. We feel that getting asylum decisions right first time is the single biggest step the IND can take to speeding up the asylum process.
“If the asylum system is turning down applications from people who are genuinely in fear for their lives, removing them is not only dangerous but is also extremely problematic.
“The bottom line is that efforts to increase the speed and efficiency with which people are removed will go unrewarded and may put lives at risk unless coupled with a real drive to improve the quality of decision-making on asylum claims. It is vital that people are being removed to safety.”