Home Office gets more appeals
wrong than it gets right,
says latest data

One in every two Home Office immigration decisions is reversed when challenged in court.

The latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that the amount of overturned appeals has been rising for the past three years.

It reached its peak in September 2018, with seven out of 10 cases brought by the Home Office against rulings allowing asylum seekers and other migrants into the UK were dismissed. As a result, people who have a right to remain in the UK are being forced to be separated from their families, put into detention or even deported.

A spokesman from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) said that these migrants can endure ‘years in limbo’  and cases often only receive a ‘fair and timely resolution’ after adverse media coverage.

Chai Patel, legal policy director of the JCWI, continued:

‘In the background of every case you see in the media of someone whose life was destroyed by the Home Office, there are thousands more whose cases never get any attention. These figures bring home the reality of that.

‘When the Home Office chooses to resist an appeal, it gets it wrong more often than it gets right, and yet all of the consequences fall upon the people who wait years in limbo, separated from their families, or in detention, or who are deported. ‘

Recent immigration cases included a Zimbabwean man who first came to the UK 18 years ago but then was detained for more than four years and ended up homeless.

Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, said the high success rate for immigration appeals was the result of the government’s numerical targets for deportations and its hostile environment policy.

‘Under this government, most immigration decisions that go to appeal were initially wrong,’ she added.

The Home Office responded:

‘Every asylum and immigration application is considered on its individual merits in line with the immigration rules.

“Caseworkers are given extensive training and mentoring to ensure they are able to deal with the complex issues they may encounter, and there are managers and senior caseworkers on hand should they need further advice or guidance.

‘Appeals are allowed for a variety of reasons, often because of new evidence presented before the tribunal which was not available to the decision maker at the time.

‘We are committed to continually improving the quality and accuracy of decision-making to ensure we get decisions right the first time, and all allowed appeals are review to ensure we capture relevant lessons.’

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