Border Agency under attack from Huppert over immigration

June 21, 2010 9:45 AM

Julian HuppertThe UK Border Agency has come under fire from Cambridge MP Julian Huppert for taking too long to process immigration claims.

He claims there is "something fundamentally wrong" in the way the agency operates with some cases taking years to process.

"I am constantly coming across cases that have taken years to process, and that gives rise to questions about how fairly and rapidly the system works," he said.

"The aim must be to reach a decision quickly and fairly about whether people are genuine sanctuary seekers, so that if they are not they go, and if they are they can stay. At the moment, it takes far too long.

"Competence is a serious issue in relation to the UKBA in several wider respects, which have even affected people who came to work for me in my former profession, from such places as the USA. There is something fundamentally wrong, in my experience, with the way the agency operates."

Julian was speaking out at a debate on Alternatives to Child Detention at Westminster Hall.

He told fellow MPs that it was always a good test of a country's underlying morals and values in the way it treats people who cannot defend or look after themselves, and the country fails the test in relation to child detainees.

"It is a matter of great shame to this country that we treat people so badly," he said.

Julian, who signed the Sanctuary Pledge to safeguard the long term future of Britain as a place of sanctuary, welcomed the coalition government's promise to end child detention in immigration cases.

"We owe the people of this country better than child detention and I look forward to our fulfilling our aim in that respect."

And he said Cambridge has a great history as somewhere that is very multicultural and tolerant.

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