Yet another excoriating report – we've long lost count of them – on our non-existent immigration system is out today showing that the much vaunted e-borders is not working in any respect.
Not only is 'e-borders' still not as yet registering (or even merely counting) individuals in and out of the country, but the chief inspector of immigration, John Vine, lambasts the Home Office that there is not even any longer in place the allocation of checks on a risk-based model – and, unbelievably, e-borders has not prevented previously deported or removed individuals from returning.
Over a third of all passenger movements into and out of the UK are not being covered in any way at all; and only at Heathrow – and at no other port – are high profile alerts used to intercept high risk individuals! This is an astounding new failure in the one focus most sensitive for HM governments: the use of the 'warnings index' to pick out terrorists and serious criminals. As for tackling smuggling: 700,000 smuggling alerts were completely ignored – simply deleted from the system without being read (at least immigration application evidence gets rubber-stamped after it isn't read).
So things have got actually worse ... again. For all my knowledge and astonishment at the Home Office's inexhaustible compounding of the UK immigration fiasco, I used to doubt that there could be still lower subterranean floors beneath which the Department could sink, but time and time again it reveals itself to be bottomless. That's because it's intentional: to repeat what I have long concluded, the Gnome Orifice firmly believes immigration to be an insoluble problem, and anyway it's too busy being the lead gov org re PC totalitarianism, which is all about intentionally defecating on the British populace (well, the stereotype of ordinary folk in civic life – male 'white' heterosexuals).
To be undeservedly fair, the implementation of 'e-borders' had been delayed, so as not to be, at long last, fully operational until 2014; and in 2011 the Home Affairs Select Committee discovered that merely the exit (and not entry) checks would be in place by then -- oh, and that this will not now be until 2015. So it might be said that John Vine has jumped the gun somewhat, if the Government didn't keep talking 'e-borders' as if the shebang was all in place. So they can't complain. In any case, the time-frame for rolling out 'e-borders' was way too long originally, let alone with the delays; and it's cost half a billion quid. Of course, the software will be the usual case in government IT procurement of the appointed consultants and contractors 'promising the moon but delivering a crater'.
Belatedly, the Government is slowly coming round to my suggestion (see the second edition of The Great Immigration Scandal) that with the Home Office resolutely incapable of ever organising an immigration system worthy of the title, then with literally millions of illegals here (overstayers, clandestines and fraudulent visa holders), the only way forward is to erect an 'internal gateway' to prevent access to essential aspects of the state. This should start with the DWP routinely and rigorously checking immigration status before allowing access to any benefit or to get an NI number. The Government is to make a start in its forthcoming immigration bill, but the only measures flagged up in advance are regarding NHS access and renting accommodation. Landlords are to carry the can for governmental incompetence. I confronted the latest in the rapidly replaceable line of immigration ministers, Mark Harper, last week at a Tory conference fringe event, and I can't report much sign of a comprehensive 'internal gateway' on the horizon, so the problem of immigration is simply going to continue just to get a lot worse.