Mr Clarke said among his proposals to sort out the problem of removing foreign criminals was the "guiding principle that foreign nationals guilty of criminality should expect to be deported".
Then forward to today.
Immigration officials have "no interest" in deporting foreign prisoners who have served less than 12 months in jail, a leaked memo says. The admission was made in a memo from Prison Service deputy director general Michael Spurr to prison governors.
Stealth amnesty for 19,000 failed asylum seekers.
Previous home secretary John Reid announced the scale of the backlog in asylum cases July last year, which he said was between 400,000 and 450,000. He pointed out that the figure referred to case files, rather than individuals, and said they were "riddled with duplication and errors".
In her letter Ms Homer, the chief executive of the Border and Immigration Agency, said officials were on course to clear the backlog by 2011 and were speeding up the process. Ms Homer said: "To date we have concluded around 52,000 cases, of which about 16,000 have led to removals, 19,000 have led to grants of leave and 17,000 have been closed due to previously erroneous or duplicate records...
Only another 400,000 to go. I'd love to see the 17,000 closed records. What's the betting they're the ones where the individuals have just "vanished" ?