Four reports in quick order by independent inspectorates has revealed that The Borders & Immigration Agency is no more 'fit for purpose' and no less dysfuctional than the former Immigration & Nationality Directorate supposedly it replaced.
Of course, this is to be fully expected because there was no replacement but merely a rebranding. That is all that the 'points system' is; plus renaming the whole shebang as an 'agency' so as to symbolically distance the sub-department within the Home Office from Home Office top management. Journalists should be ashamed of themselves for not delving in even the most cursory manner to see that this is the case.
The latest castigating report is by John Vine, the independent inspector for the BIA, who states that there is no routine way that the BIA acts upon the 100,000 tip-offs annually they receive about illegal migrants. They simply don't record outcomes -- for the obvious reason that there aren't any, or very few; at least not positive ones.
"It's not wthin the DNA of the officers", Vine quipped.
This is fully in line with the Home Office contention that immigration is an impossible problem to solve, and that in any case an in effect completely open border is consonant with the 'political-correctness'-fascist stance through Government and the government-media-education elite (the major backlash against ordinary UK citizens).
The BIA has no idea how many illegal migrants are in the UK, even to the nearest million ... not even how many of those it has granted entry are bona fide. It does not know who or where they are, nor what they are doing.
Given that there will be no reintroduction of a system to take the details of all those entering and leaving the UK until the inexplicably delayed 'e-borders' scheduled for 2014, then in the meantime anyone can come here as a mere tourist and disappear -- never mind as a bogus student, marriage partner, etc.
There is no immigration system in the UK worth the name.
What is even worse is that there is no routine mechanism to stop illegal (and deemed legal but actually fraudulent) migrants from accessing benefits, National Insurance Numbers and the NHS.
The Home Office and Government more widely (notably the DWP) evidently continues to regard the whole shambles as just too daunting to tackle and to do little more than take gesture measures and simply to 'news manage'.
It was ever thus.
There is little sign that the Coalition Government will do much to change any of this. After all, David Cameron seems hardly that much less of a PC-fascist than most Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians -- it pains me to say as a former long-time LD activist -- notwithstanding his recent immigration speech, which appears very much to be just talk ahead of last week's elections.
What sort of signal is it to cut 5,000 BIA staff?
Yes, they're useless, but only because they are made useless by a system the hopelessness of which should be Cameron's very top priority to radically change.