Controlling Our Borders

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Controlling the country's borders has provoked a huge national debate, with mounting concern over levels of immigration helping UKIP secure 27.5% of the vote in the recent European Election polls. Winifred Robinson looks at what the Government plans to do in response, including measures by Home Secretary Theresa May, to deter EU nationals from heading to this country and to deport them if they are claiming benefits and don't have a realistic prospect of finding a job.

It was just over a year ago when Theresa May announced that the UK Border Agency was being abolished, with its work returning to the Home Office. At the time she said her aim was to end the closed, secretive and defensive culture which she saw as being partly to blame for the huge backlog of immigration cases. New proposals go further still and Winifred Robinson assesses what they might mean in practise and how they might impact on the lives of some of those involved.

The recordings will take us into the world of immigration control at a very timely moment: this is a key political issue and one which is creating debate and discussion around the country. Already the announcement has generated concerns about whether the changes go far enough: a concern heightened by a leaked memo from the new Home Office permanent secretary declaring that: "most of us will be doing the same job in the same place with the same colleagues for the same boss."

David Cameron's promise to cut net migration to "tens of thousands" by the next election took a blow recently as figures showed it stood at 212,000 in 2013, a rise of 35,000 over the previous year. The quarterly figure of 212,000 was more than double the 100,000 target the Conservatives set for net migration by next year's general election. As critics complain that the changes lack substance, Winifred Robinson assesses what is happening and hears from the different levels within the organisation as reforms are carried through.
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