The Home Office has issued a strong rebuttal of weekend newspaper reports claiming insufficient consideration of 337,000 visa applications made in the early 2000s (prior to the formation of the UK Border Agency).
The press based their stories on a Freedom of Information request.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
‘This article is seriously misleading in relation to the events and figures, the facts of which are a matter of public record in the Sutton report of 25 March 2004. We have never had an ‘open door’ policy on immigration. Our border is now one of the toughest in the world and we are determined to strengthen it. We have rigorous controls in place, including fingerprint checks, to ensure that individuals who are of concern on security grounds will not be granted visas to come to the UK or be granted asylum.’
The applications were the subject of a full inquiry by Ken Sutton in 2004.The Home Office accepted that report in full and implemented all of the recommendations made. The report can be accessed online and has been there since 2004.
The UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson has admitted for the first time that the government has made mistakes in handling immigration, the BBC reported yesterday.
The UK Border Agency has responded to allegations that the points-based system is failing to stop migrants from entering the UK illegally under the pretence of being students.
UK Immigration officers have told bosses that new rules designed to stop bogus students entering the UK are not working, the BBC reports. However, claims by Immigration Officers that they are “powerless” to challenge suspect students will come as a surprise to the many students who are detained on a daily basis, as well as the Immigration Advisers and Lawyers employed to get them released.
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