Home Office Guard Was Illegal Immigrant

Home Office guard was illegal immigrant

Haroon Siddique and agencies
Monday December 17, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

A Home Office security worker has been arrested after being exposed as an illegal immigrant, it was revealed today.

The breach was uncovered after the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) identified “problems” with a sub-contracting firm used by the department. The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, said “immediate steps” had been taken to “tighten procedures”.

The individual was arrested on Friday, one day after Smith told MPs that the BIA believed 6,653 illegal immigrants were licensed to work in the security industry.

She also said that in another 4,447 cases the BIA did not believe individuals had proved the right to work, although a “significant proportion” might be legally employed.

The shadow home secretary, David Davis, had accused the Home Office of “a huge policy failure” and Smith was forced onto the defensive again today, in response to the latest revelation.

“The Home Office is now working with the sub-contractor to recheck individually the right to work of all their security staff supplied to the home office,” she said, in response to a question tabled in parliament.

“Furthermore, the permanent secretary has taken immediate steps to tighten the procedures for checking the identity and immigration status of those working in the Home Office, whether as a civil servant, employed by a contractor, or in any other capacity.”

A Home Office spokesman confirmed the individual had been granted a licence by the Security Industry Authority (SIA), and was now subject to deportation proceedings.