The Home Office had set targets for voluntary departures of people who could not lawfully stay in the UK, it has been revealed.
A December 2015 report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration says that targets were set for voluntary departures, which took place when an individual or family notified authorities of their intention to leave the UK.
Voluntary departures included people who had approached the Home Office for financial assistance with their travel arrangements.
The news comes after a Commons committee investigating failures that affected the Windrush generation asked home secretary Amber Rudd whether her department has targets for migrant removals during a grilling on Wednesday.
Relatives of the Windrush generation, which came to the UK from Commonwealth Caribbean countries between the 1940s and 1970s, have been threatened with job losses, deportation and denial of medical treatment – due to previous generations not having the correct UK documentation.
Amber Rudd, who took over the role from Theresa May in July 2016, told the Commons Home Affairs Committee she was not familiar with suggestions that regional targets were in place.
An inspection of removals by the borders and immigration watchdog said targets were set in 2014/15 and for 2015/16, which were then split between 19 Immigration Compliance and Enforcement (ICE) teams across the UK.
Following Ms Rudd’s appearance before MPs on Wednesday, the Home Office said it had ‘never been (its) policy to take decisions arbitrarily to meet a target’.