Tuesday, May 17, 2011

British Public report 300 immigration abuses every day

Immigration officials receive 300 reports a day of suspected illegal migrants and other abuses, a watchdog revealed today.

But the way the UK Border Agency handles the intelligence came under intense criticism with official not even able to say whether a call resulted in an arrest.

John Vine, the chief inspector of UKBA, said the picture was “unacceptable” and that intelligence is often focused on hitting targets rather than targeting those organising illegal immigration.

A separate report by the watchdog also revealed that plans to arrest suspected illegal immigrants had to be delayed because of a lack of detention space.

Mr Vine said UKBA received more than 100,000 calls from the public every year – or 2,100 a week – with allegation of immigration abuse. It includes suspected illegal workers, illegal entry and sham marriages. But he said the agency was "unable to identify the proportion of allegations that had resulted in people being prevented from entering the UK, or which had led to enforcement action against people living or working illegally in the UK".

Frontline staff at the UK's ports also used different methods to spot suspicious people or vehicles, but had no way of telling which of these best identified potential offences or offenders.

Mr Vine said: “There is a real need for the agency to focus more rigorously on the actual outcome of intelligence. "There is insufficient understanding across the agency of the role that intelligence should play and whether or not it is the driving force for meeting objectives. "The agency should have a clearer idea of how the use of intelligence contributes to preventing and detecting immigration and customs offences."

A separate report in to the agency's arrest team in Croydon found four of six operations planned by one of the agency's 53 arrest teams had to be rescheduled due to a "lack of detention space". "The remaining four operations were due to be rescheduled when detention space became available," he said. "However, as intelligence reports are only valid for a period of three weeks, according to agency guidance, there is a risk that this period might be exceeded.

Intelligence checks were also carried out two months before one operation and it was unclear whether they had been rechecked since, the report said. "This lack of a clear audit trail presents an obvious risk; for example, if a person had become known to police after the previous checks, the agency may not be aware of this," Mr Vine said. "The risks to staff and members of the public of such an oversight are potentially considerable."

Briefings which contained personal and sensitive information about people suspected of immigration offences were carried out in the street while others failed to note that a potential target was four months pregnant, the inspectors found.


Asylum seekers in Australia pretending to be teenagers for faster processing

IMMIGRATION detainees are pretending to be teens to get their visa applications processed quicker and live in better conditions.

Victoria's biggest youth immigration detention centre in Broadmeadows is filled with many asylum seekers claiming to be under 18 to escape the tougher regulations for adults, an investigation has discovered.

Secret photos obtained by the Herald Sun reveal men with obvious signs of ageing, including crow's-feet, wrinkles around their eyes and receding hairlines. Experts say the men are more likely to be aged in their 20s.

Several Immigration Department sources have confirmed the con. Immigration officials lack time and resources to investigate people's ages so they deliver them to youth detention centres with "a wry smile", a whistleblower said.

"There are some massive guys, we're talking about man mountains, in the centre. Sixteen-year-olds just aren't built like that," the source said. Adult detainees bullied genuine youngsters at the facility, it was revealed.

University of Technology Sydney forensic anatomist Dr Meiya Sutisno said an initial assessment of a selection of the photographs showed men not minors. "They are not juveniles, definitely not," she said. Dr Sutisno said the men in photos she had seen were aged between 18 and their late-20s.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the age scam had become widely known among asylum seekers and the department was unable to prove people's ages.

"They (the department) have no idea how old these people are," he said. "They just guess."

Sources revealed:

MANY detainees deliberately have no documentation of their age so they can lie about how old they are.

SOME asylum seekers have privately confessed to being more than a decade older than they claimed.

INMATES at the Broadmeadows facility have boasted about escaping at night to get McDonald's.

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre coordinator Pamela Curr said many didn't know their ages because it was not in their culture to celebrate birthdays. "They say what they have been told to say by people smugglers."


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