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Asylum backlog will take decades to clear.

THE Conservatives have claimed it would take the Government decades to deal with the backlog of asylum seekers after it was revealed that around 52,000 cases from a backlog of between 400,000 and 450,000 had been concluded.

Shadow home secretary David Davis said Government "incompetence" meant there was effectively a "stealth amnesty".

The chief executive of the Border and Immigration Agency Lin Homer gave the figures in a letter to the chair of the Home Affairs Committee Keith Vaz.

She said officials were on course to clear the backlog in 2011.

Previous home secretary John Reid announced the scale of the backlog in July last year. He pointed out that the figure referred to case files, rather than individuals, and said they were "riddled with duplication and errors".

Ms Homer said: "To date we have concluded around 52,000 cases.

"From July to November this year 29,000 cases were concluded and we will continue to escalate performance."

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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