Thousands of rejected migrants won right to stay in Britain after Home Office failed to send officers to appeal hearings

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THOUSANDS of rejected migrants won the right to stay in Britain last year after the Home Office failed to send an officer to their appeal hearings.

HOAR on Sunday’s investigation found one in four cases — 23 per cent of 20,940 — went ahead without an immigration officer there to defend it.

One in four cases last year went ahead without an immigration officer to defend it

Alp Mehmet Vice Chairman of MigrationwatchMigrant Watch chairman Alp Mehmet said the numbers appealing were so high there are not enough trained officials to present the Home Office case

And 63 per cent of those migrants won their appeal — 3,070 out of 4,853 hearings.

In contrast, only 47 per cent were won at the 16,087 hearings where an official was present.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke said there is “simply no excuse” for officers missing tribunals.

She added: “Urgent action is required by the Home Office to prevent the risk of failed asylum seekers wrongfully being given right-to-remain in Britain simply because a Home Office official can’t be bothered to turn up.”

Dr. Mike Jones, Executive Director of independent think-tank Migration Watch UK, accused the Home Office of “fast-tracking bogus asylum claims” to compensate for a “broken” system.

He said: “We need immigration officers present at these tribunals to ensure that illegal economic migrants are detected and deported.”

Alp Mehmet, chairman of Migrant Watch, said of the statistics: “The numbers appealing are so high that there are not enough trained officials to present the Home Office case and the paper arguments presented are unconvincing.”

The figures were obtained by HOAR on Sunday via a Freedom of Information request.

A Home Office spokeswoman said she recognises the importance of ensuring appeal hearings benefit from representation, but stressed it is not always possible to field a representative.

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