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Published on November 7th, 2011 | by Lauren Beard
Image © [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="350" caption="Banned Islamic activist, Raed Salah, allowed to enter the UK"][/caption] Today the Home Secretary, Theresa May, must address claims of lapses in border security and inadequate passport checks by the UK Border Agency that have enabled hundreds of thousands of people to entered the UK without proper assessment. This news comes following a recent Select Committee report that revealed that the Home Office has dropped 124,000 asylum seeker and immigration cases that have been lost track of (either they cannot be found or have overstayed their visas), as well as the security lapses that allowed high profile cases such as the banned activist Raed Salah, who is the leader of the Islamic Movement of Israel, to enter the country. How has this been allowed? According to Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, this is due to the drastic cuts in staff (around 5,000 cuts were made) at the Border Agency that has put pressure on officials to cut corners. The Public and Commercial Services union has claimed that this was done in efforts to continue to provide a “fast and efficient service” despite having a reduced workforce. However, it is hardly efficient to allow such a large number of people to slip through the cracks – more importantly, how many of these pose a threat to national security? So who should be held accountable for this failure? Within the Border Agency itself, head of the UK border force, Brodie Clark, has been suspended, while the chief inspector John Vine plans to launch an investigation. Since the accusations were made, Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he is “concerned about the way decisions were taken by the UK border agency,” but he still supports and has confidence in the Home Secretary. Theresa May’s team have reported that the Home Office did ask for checks on EU nationals entering the country to be ‘streamlined’ in order to devote more time to potential illegal immigrants and terrorists, but May claims to have been unaware of relaxed border security during the previous four months. She has called for an independent inquiry into the allegations but has not announced any plans to stand down.

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Theresa May told to ‘get a grip’ on border controls

Banned Islamic activist, Raed Salah, allowed to enter the UK

Today the Home Secretary, Theresa May, must address claims of lapses in border security and inadequate passport checks by the UK Border Agency that have enabled hundreds of thousands of people to entered the UK without proper assessment.

This news comes following a recent Select Committee report that revealed that the Home Office has dropped 124,000 asylum seeker and immigration cases that have been lost track of (either they cannot be found or have overstayed their visas), as well as the security lapses that allowed high profile cases such as the banned activist Raed Salah, who is the leader of the Islamic Movement of Israel, to enter the country. How has this been allowed?

According to Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, this is due to the drastic cuts in staff (around 5,000 cuts were made) at the Border Agency that has put pressure on officials to cut corners. The Public and Commercial Services union has claimed that this was done in efforts to continue to provide a “fast and efficient service” despite having a reduced workforce. However, it is hardly efficient to allow such a large number of people to slip through the cracks – more importantly, how many of these pose a threat to national security?

So who should be held accountable for this failure? Within the Border Agency itself, head of the UK border force, Brodie Clark, has been suspended, while the chief inspector John Vine plans to launch an investigation. Since the accusations were made, Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he is “concerned about the way decisions were taken by the UK border agency,” but he still supports and has confidence in the Home Secretary.

Theresa May’s team have reported that the Home Office did ask for checks on EU nationals entering the country to be ‘streamlined’ in order to devote more time to potential illegal immigrants and terrorists, but May claims to have been unaware of relaxed border security during the previous four months. She has called for an independent inquiry into the allegations but has not announced any plans to stand down.

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