Emily Thornberry Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury
22 November 2012
Dear Mr Whiteman
Re: Asylum Legacy backlog
Thank you for your letter of 15/11/12 about the workload of CAAU processing asylum legacy casework. I was concerned to see that there were still 25,500 cases with CAAU at 30/06/12, and you were expecting to add 16,000 cases from the controlled archive before this is closed next month, making a total of 41,500 cases.
As you know, all these cases relate to people who claimed asylum before April 2007. They need to be resolved without further delay. I know from my own casework that there are still cases with CAAU which should have been processed many years ago -; including in-time applications for further leave to remain in the UK made in 2007.
So I was shocked to see the very slow rate at which these cases are being resolved -; only 3,800 in the first quarter of 2012, and only 1,400 in the second quarter. Combining these figures, it appears that you are only able to resolve 5,200 cases in six months, or 10,400 in a year. At this rate, it will take a further four years to clear the 41,500 cases.
Given that the asylum legacy cases were all supposed to be resolved by July 2011, I do not think it is acceptable to extend the deadline to 2017. Please provide details of your plan to clear this backlog.
The other point I wanted to touch on was the 80,000 controlled archive cases you are intending to close. As you know, I have already contacted UKBA about a number of constituents whose cases had been archived. Up till now, it has been a relatively straightforward matter to recall the case from archive and place it in the CAAU processing backlog.
It would be helpful to have further information about what to do from next year when I come across a constituent whose case has been closed. Thank you for your help in this, I look forward to hearing from you.