More than 150 illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers will be freed from custody after a riot wrecked Britain's biggest detention center
John Reid was forced to release the men back on to the streets after a wave of blazes and destruction lasting for more than 18 hours at Harmondsworth, in west London.
The farce was blamed on Labour's failure to provide enough cells for the huge number of illegal immigrants and foreign criminals waiting to be deported from the UK.
The rioting, still not under full control late yesterday evening and sparked by guards turning off a television set, left large parts of the £70m centre out of action.
But - because prisons and other detention centres across the country are already full - the Home Secretary had nowhere to move the failed asylum seekers and overseas criminals being detained at Harmondsworth.
It forced him to order a clear out of 150 illegal immigrants - all of them awaiting removal from the UK - from other detention centres in London and the South East to make way for them.
They were 'bailed' and told to report regularly to the authorities - despite fears they will simply abscond. They are effectively being rewarded for the rioting of their fellow illegal immigrants, albeit indirectly.
In a second twist, it emerged immigration staff have been told not to detain any new suspected illegals or failed asylum seekers for the next 48-hours. Officials say it would be pointless as there is nowhere to put them.
Shadow Immigration Minister, Damian Green said: 'This outbreak is a symptom of a system out of control.'
Lin Homer, head of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, described the riots - which have already caused tens of thousands of pounds of damage - as a 'deliberate attempts at sabotage' by illegals hell-bent on remaining in the UK.
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