The opening of two new wings at Harmondsworth immigration removal centre (IRC) will make it Europe’s largest, Immigration Minister Damian Greenannounced today.
The unveiling of additional detention space comes as the UK Border Agency is intensifying enforcement activity across the country to crackdown on illegal working, sham marriages, bogus colleges and organised immigration crime.
The new high security accommodation is ready for use, and at full capacity it will house 364 of the UK Border Agency’s most difficult detainees, significantly enhancing the new government’s ability to remove foreign criminals from the UK. The first detainees were accepted earlier this month, and the current plan is that it will take approximately seven to eight weeks to have the new accommodation fully occupied. Already under the new government, there have been more than 1900 failed asylum seekers and more than 990 foreign national prisoners removed from the UK.