Amber Rudd says she will end deportation targets amid calls to resign

Amber Rudd faces pressure to resign over immigration scandal

There have been calls for the Home Secretary to resign after thousands of people from the Caribbean who had migrated to Britain legally were threatened with deportation.

For almost two weeks, British ministers have been struggling to explain why some descendants of the so-called "Windrush generation", invited to Britain to plug labor shortfalls between 1948 and 1971, had been labeled as illegal immigrants.

A report by the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration published in December 2015, spotted by the Guardian, revealed that the Home Office also had a target for voluntary departures.

'The immigration arm of the Home Office has been using local targets for internal performance management. When her spokesman was asked if PM had full confidence in Rudd after Windrush, he told media: "Yes".

Rudd was forced to return to the House of Commons on Thursday morning to face questions from MPs, who argued she had misled the committee.

The Labour MP said she had received evidence of regional targets being used "for some years" and as recently as April, although some had been dropped due to being unattainable. In a 1998 White Paper titled "Fairer, Faster and Firmer - a modern approach to immigration and asylum" the then government set a target for the removal of failed asylum seekers at 12,000.

"I asked her how many had been imprisoned in our own country".

The report said the target was "not a useful performance measure" due to the varying nature of cases year to year.

Ms Cooper said the response was a "complete fudge" and she would be writing to Ms Rudd "to get a proper answer" on Thursday.

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The home secretary has been accused of misleading Parliament after saying "We don't have targets for removals", as a result.

Abbott said that Rudd should resign as a matter of "honour", after it transpired that a deportation target was in place for immigration officers.

The scandal escalated last week after it transpired that migrants from the Caribbean who settled in the United Kingdom decades ago were asked to prove right to remain in Britain.

She told MPs: "We don't have targets for removals".

Rudd did not answer these questions, but defended the home office's policy, saying: "Once again the honourable lady is confusing the difference between legal and illegal migrants and I do not think she like any other member of this house would want the United Kingdom to be a home for illegal migrants". She has faced accusations of lying and misleading MPs, yet Rudd remains in her job - for now.

Ms Abbott said the revelations were part of a long-running saga of home office mistreatment of migrants, including the Windrush families.

The crisis has focused attention on May, who as interior minister set out to create a "really hostile environment" for illegal immigrants, imposing tough new requirements in 2012 for people to prove their legal status.

Prime minister Theresa May's spokesman insisted removal targets was a concept which "goes back over a number of decades", and cited ones imposed by Labour governments from 1998 to 2010, although these were aimed at more specific areas such as asylum seekers and foreign prisoners.

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