Search for Gay Asylum Stats Exceeds £600
Dear Mr Petrelis,
Thank you for your email dated 3/12/07 where you have requested information on specific reasons for claiming asylum and their outcomes. This falls to be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I have listed your questions below for reference [in italics].
How many cases based on claims on the grounds of sexual orientation and transgender status, have been made, from all countries? How many of those claims were successful in obtaining asylum and how many failed?
Also, since I wish to compare the success and failure rates of gay-specific claims with the overall rate of claims made for non-gay reasons, please provide me with the success and failure statistics for all other asylum claims made with the BIA.
I am very interested in learning specific information on claims made by GLBT persons from Iran. How many claims from Iranian GLBT persons were made, the number granted asylum status, the number that have been refused, the number that later succeeded on appeal?
Furthermore, if the BIA has deported GLBT people back to Iran, individuals whose claims were based on sexual orientation or transgender status, how many were deported, and how many returned voluntarily?
Please also give me comparable figures for all other non-gay claimants from Iran; how many filed, success and failure rates, how many deported.
I also request statistics for all claimants from all countries who put in a claim based on sexual orientation or transgender status. How many claims made, success and failure rates, number of GLBT deported?
Please release to me the figures for all asylum claimants on all grounds over the same period for the purpose of comparison.
How many general non-GLBT claims accepted, how many outstanding claims, how many refused, how many awaiting removal, how many formally deported, how many returned voluntarily?
Unfortunately, I am not able to provide you with the information you have requested because the information is not centrally recorded. Whilst the number of claims and their outcomes are centrally recorded and published on the Research and Development Statistical Website (RDS), personal information and the reasons cited for claiming asylum are not. This information would be held on the person’s personal file.
Therefore, in order to answer your request it would be necessary to examine manually all asylum files to retrieve the information, which due to the numbers involved is not possible.
Additionally, as part of the Home Office, the Border and Immigration Agency is not obliged under section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to comply with any information request where the estimated costs involved in supplying the information exceed the £600 cost limit.
I regret that we cannot supply you with the information that you have asked for, as to comply with your request would exceed this cost limit. This limit applies to all central Government Departments and is based on work being carried out by one member of staff at a rate of £25 per hour, which equates to 3½ days work per request.
The costs involved include locating and retrieving information you requested, and preparing our response to you. They do not include considering whether any information is exempt from disclosure, overheads such as heating or lighting, or disbursements such as photocopying or postage.
Your request would at present be too costly to answer. This is due to the fact that the data to these questions would be held on individual case files and is not held separately.
However, if you were to refine your request further so that it falls under the £600 cost limit, we will be pleased to consider it further. Although, on this occasion I am unable to suggest how you could refine your request.
Should you wish to refine your request, so that we can provide you with answers to your questions within the £600 cost limit, please write back to me at the above address.
I should also point out that if you were to break your original request down into a series of smaller applications, we might, depending on the circumstances of the case, decline to answer if the aggregated cost of complying would exceed £600.
You should also bear in mind that even if any new request were to fall below the £600 cost limit, some information which we hold on this matter which you have requested may fall to be withheld under the terms of a number of the substantive exemptions contained in Part II of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
These exemptions could also make it necessary for us to extend the period for responding beyond the usual 20 working day target if they involve having to consider the public interest balancing test.
If you are dissatisfied with this response, you may request an independent internal review of our handling of your request by submitting your complaint to:
Border and Immigration Agency Customer Focus Team
11th Floor, West Wing, Block 'C'
Croydon CR9 1AT
During the independent review the department’s handling of your information request will be reassessed by staff who were not involved in providing you with this response. Should you remain dissatisfied after this internal review, you will have a right of complaint to the Information Commissioner as established by section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act.
Freedom of Information Team,
Resource Management Directorate