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Offenders: Foreign Nationals

Question for Home Office

UIN HL7971, tabled on 9 September 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure (1) that removal planning starts at the beginning of sentences of imprisonment in cases where foreign offenders are recommended for removal by sentencing courts, and (2) that the removal of such offenders takes place at the end of imprisonment.

Answered on

23 September 2020

This Government puts the rights of the British public before those of criminals, and we are clear that foreign criminals should be deported from the UK wherever it is legal and practical to do so.

Foreign national offenders (FNOs) who abuse our hospitality should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them and since 2010 we have removed over 55,000.

In the period April 2019 to March 2020, we removed over 2,000 FNOs direct from prison under the Early Removal Scheme (ERS) many of whom were identified as FNOs who wanted to leave the UK. Those who wish to return home voluntarily are now fast tracked through the system to ensure a speedy removal.

We make every effort to ensure that an FNO’s deportation coincides, as far as possible, with their release from prison however the deportation of FNOs is complex. We are working with the Ministry of Justice on options to maximise the opportunities for early removal of FNOs under ERS.

All FNOs are referred to the Home Office by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service within ten days of being sentenced and five days when they have received a short prison sentence, so that deportation action can be considered and progressed. If an FNO meets the criteria for deportation, a notification of liability to deportation is served and deportation proceedings commence. The Home Office is now serving FNOs with notices of liability to deportation earlier in their sentence. This allows time to progress the case and remove barriers so that FNOs can be removed more quickly.

Answered by

Home Office