U.K. to scrap Border Agency

The Home Secretary said the border agency’s performance is not good enough.

The U.K. Border Agency (UKBA) is to be scrapped with some of its work returning to the Home Office, Theresa May, the Home Secretary has said.

May stated this on Tuesday in London while addressing Members of Parliament at the House of Commons.

“The performance of what remains of UKBA is still not good enough; the agency struggles with the volume of its casework, which has led to historical backlogs running into the hundreds of thousands.

“The number of illegal immigrants removed does not keep up with the number of people who are here illegally, and while the visa operation is internationally competitive, it could and should get better still.

“UKBA was given agency status in order to keep its work at an arm’s length from ministers, that was wrong; it created a closed, secretive and defensive culture,” she said.

Ms. May said that with the abolition, the agency’s operation would be split into two parts with focus on the visa system and immigration law enforcement respectively.

According to her, both parts would report directly to ministers.

She said a board would be setup to oversee the organisations in the immigration system namely the immigration policy, the Passport Service, Border Force and the two new entities.

She added that the UKBA split would create “a high-volume service that makes high-quality decisions about who comes here” and an organisation that has “law enforcement at its heart”.

The UKBA was established in 2008 as an arms-length agency of the Home Office and this is the second time the agency has been split in just over a year.


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