UK Border Agency to be abolished: Our response

SRC Sept 2010  c. Jenny Wicks  ongoing use   0001  57
The visa system and immigration law enforcement functions of UK Border Agency will be split.

Today (Tuesday, March 26) Home Secretary Teresa May announced that the UK Border Agency is to be abolished with its work taken over by the Home Office.

The home secretary told MPs "its performance was not good enough".

It will now be split into parts focusing on the visa system and on immigration law enforcement. Both parts will report directly to ministers.

This follows a highly critical report by the Home Affairs committee earlier this week which detailed a catalogue of systemic failures and deemed it 'unfit for purpose'.

We have had long standing concerns about the many contradictory functions of the organisation," Gary Christie

In response, Gary Christie, Scottish Refugee Council’s Head of Policy, said:

 “We are glad that the UK Government has recognised the systemic failings at the heart of the UK Border Agency. We have had long standing concerns about the many contradictory functions of the organisation, which on the one hand comes under pressure to meet ambitious targets to cap immigration and on the other has to make life and death decisions on complex asylum cases.

“There is a well-documented endemic culture of disbelief in the asylum system, possibly as a result of these conflicting pressures and that has devastating effects on the lives of people who come here fleeing persecution and torture and are not given due credence.

More humane system

“We see this development as an opportunity to develop a fairer and more humane asylum system. We believe that asylum should be completely divorced from immigration and an independent asylum agency, separate from government and with the necessary qualifications and expertise, should be formed. 

“The administration of asylum support should be handed over to the DWP, a government department much better suited to dealing with benefits.

“Meanwhile, in the transition period we would urge the UK Government to ensure that vulnerable people who in the system are fairly treated and kept informed about the changes and how their cases may be affected.”

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