Monday, 22 February 2010

UK Border Agency saves Hackney

A number of sites ran a COI press release quoting Phil Woolas, minister for borders and immigration, talking about the UK Border Agency yesterday: "Smugglers, forgers, traffickers be warned – the UK is a hostile environment. You will be targeted, you will be caught and immigration powers can and will be used to prosecute you and remove you from the country.

"The UK Border Agency is responding to local community needs as a law enforcement agency... frontline immigration staff work collaboratively with police, local authorities and government agencies to target and disband immigration crime that preys on vulnerable individuals."

Although the UK Border Agency does seem to have an impressive record it didn't seem to be in London. Hackney was the only London borough mentioned in its round up of success stories and the details weren't exactly inspirational: "HACKNEY, LONDON April 2009: Following complaints about anti-social behaviour from local residents, UKBA and police officers visited a former pub building on Kingsland Road on 30 April 2009, questioning those inside and checking their identities.

"Four men, three from Bolivia and one from Columbia were arrested for immigration offences including overstaying on a visa and obtaining leave to enter the UK by deception. They were taken for further questioning by immigration staff, detained, and removed from the country."

So, as Phil said: "Smugglers, forgers, traffickers be warned – the UK is a hostile environment" but only if you cause enough of a nuisance of yourselves for your neighbours to complain about you.

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