UK Government Admits it Has 'Lost' 37,000 Migrants
Home Office reveals thousands of illegal immigrants have fled detention centers
The UK Government has admitted that it has "lost" tens of thousands of migrants who have entered Britain illegally.
Over 37,000 illegal immigrants have absconded after entering the United Kingdom – the equivalent to the population of the entire town of Redcar, Yorkshire.
The Home Office's failure to trace thousands of so-called "asylum seekers" was revealed in the latest official figures.
The missing illegals have either fled from migrant detention centers or skipped their immigration bail conditions, data shows.
The bombshell figures were released under Freedom of Information laws and made public over the weekend.
Campaigners argue that the data is proof that Britain’s immigration system is not being properly enforced.
Alp Mehmet, chairman of Migration Watch UK, told The Daily Mail: "This is a shocking failure.
"It is ridiculous to intercept those crossing the Channel illegally or after they emerge from the back of lorries, only to turn them loose to disappear into the undergrowth of the shadow economy.
"It simply makes it easy for potential absconders.
"This gap in immigration control can easily be plugged with more effective enforcement and better use of detention.
"If only the political will were there to do it."
Some foreign citizens – including asylum seekers, those caught entering the UK unlawfully, and those overstaying their visa – are meant to report regularly to immigration centers or police stations if there are potential grounds to deport them.
But the Home Office figures show 37,302 foreign nationals living in the UK had disappeared over the past three decades up to the end of September this year.
The vast majority were categorized as "in-country absconders" who had either failed to keep in contact with officials or disappeared from detention centers.
Some 134 were termed "port absconders," which means they had managed to evade border controls without permission to enter the UK.
The total is likely to be much higher because it does not include missing children and vulnerable adults.
The figures have emerged after eight "asylum seekers" recently went missing from Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, which was converted to house up to 400 migrants while their asylum claims were being processed.
While migrants are not required to stay there by law, they must provide an address if they choose to live elsewhere.
Since the center opened, however, an average of two a week have absconded without giving alternative addresses.
Damian Collins, the Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe, said he was extremely concerned by the situation.
Last night, a Home Office spokesman said: "While even one absconder is unacceptable, this is historic data that covers a period of over 30 years and many of these individuals have likely left the country.
"We have a dedicated national absconder-tracing team working with the police, other Government agencies, and commercial companies to track down and bring absconders back into contact with the Home Office.
"We never give up trying to trace absconders and we have significantly improved the way we collect data on people leaving the UK in recent years."