UK Border Agency under fire

The UK Border Agency is failing to fulfill basic tasks and risks damaging public trust in the Government, a Home Affairs Select Committee report warned.

UK Border Force responds to Olympic fears

The UK Border Force, the section of the Border Agency that manages entry to the UK, has rejected claims by MPs that the country's airports may not be able to cope with the arrival of thousands of extra passengers for this summer's Olympic Games.

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee had warned that planes could be left on runways and there could be long queues at immigration.

"We are well prepared for the Olympics, with additional staff available for busy periods.

"But we will not compromise on border security and are working with BAA to ensure that we are ready to deal with extra passengers."

– UK Border Force

Labour blamed for borders 'chaos'

Immigration minister Damian Green claims the UK Border Agency was in "complete chaos" when the coalition Government took office two years ago.

It is getting better slowly, probably too slowly than most people would want - some areas are getting better faster than other areas.

We're not stopping here and I'm not saying the system is perfect yet.

In the coming months, we will be changing immigration laws to cut the abuse of the Human Rights Act, which has been used by far too many people to delay the process of removal.

Advertisement

Government defends record on borders

Immigration Minister Damian Green insists the performance of the UK Border Agency is improving.

At the same time as clearing up the mistakes of the past, we are taking the action necessary to ensure the same errors will not be allowed to happen in the future.

We are starting the deportation process earlier and removing foreign criminals more quickly than ever.

We are now making better asylum decisions, ensuring cases are properly tracked, improving intelligence and speeding up removals.

This Government has chosen to publish more information than ever before, information which members of the public and Parliament can use to analyse our performance and hold us to account."

Questions over multiple visa applications

Border Agency staff
UK Border Agency staff carry out a trafficking raid Credit: UK Border Agency

The committee also questioned why around 700,000 migrants apply for multiple visas every year.

The MPs asked "whether an applicant could have legitimate reasons for applying for three or more visas".

They want the agency to examine setting a limit on the number of times someone can apply for a visa.

Advertisement

MP slams UK Border Agency

The reputation of the Home Office, and by extension, the UK Government, is being tarnished by the inability of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to fulfil its basic functions.

The foreign national prisoner issue and the asylum backlog were scandals which first broke in 2006, six years ago.

UKBA appears unable to focus on its key task of tracking and removing illegal immigrants, overstayers or bogus students from the country.

– Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee

UK Border Agency criticised by MPs

The wide-ranging Home Affairs Select Committee report showed a fifth of foreign prisoners, some 1,060 criminals, who finished their jail terms in 2010/11 had still not been deported by November last year.

But the Border Agency was unclear over which obstacles were blocking deportation and over which rights more than 520 other foreign criminals who had been allowed to remain in the UK had, the committee said.

It also found that six years after 1,013 foreign nationals were released from prison without being considered for deportation, only 397 have been removed or deported.

UK Border Agency under fire

The under-fire UK Border Agency must rid itself of its "bunker mentality" or risk raising suspicions that it is trying to mislead Parliament and the public, MPs warned.

 UK Border Agency
The UK Border Agency has come under fire from MPs

Unclear data, which even the agency's own chief executive Rob Whiteman had difficulty in following, can be, at best, confusing and, at worst, misleading, the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee said.

"It is difficult to see how senior management and ministers can be confident that they know what is going on if the 'agency' cannot be precise in the information it provides to this committee," the third damning report of the year into the UKBA's work said.