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Report by Chief of Border controls say the standard of procedure followed at immigration checks is lot to be desired

Date: (10 May 2012)    |    

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Overcautious custom officials seem to be bitten by the racial bug as they are routinely stopping and searching white air passengers only as a balancing act of racial mix.
A report has revealed that to avoid race discrimination complaints the staff were searching for illegal goods at Gatwick Airport by selecting white passengers.
The report which exposed the practice was one of two by John Vine, chief inspector of the UK immigration and border Agency saying that it was unlawful and must be stopped.
The second report is critical about Heathrow Terminal 3, which raises concerns about queues at the borders. It also revealed how the staff were allowed to take breaks at the busiest of times resulting in long delays for passengers.
The queuing times for passengers had been breached 62 times between September 18 and 30 last year with the longest wait being two hours and 15 minutes.
The racial scanning, affecting passengers widely at Gatwick, involved pulling out white passengers when officials wanted to question a black passenger.
One official told inspector he and his colleagues ‘specifically detained a number of white passengers’ from one flight so they could ‘show that white people were also being questioned’.
When the officials see only black passengers among all white they sense trouble to question him, lest they would be blamed for racial discrimination.
The officer also reported that this practice was also used for Caribbean flights to reduce the potential for future race claims. Mr Vine said the approach was ‘not justifiable’ and that there was ‘no legal basis for detaining people for such purpose.
At Heathrow Terminal 3, they raised questions over immigration controls, with the number of people refused entry by border staff falling by 20 per cent from 2009/10 to last year.
Mr Vine questioned whether the UK Border Agency was still able to maintain ‘an effective and efficient border control as the inspectors found the passengers coming from outside the EU were routinely allowed to enter through the ‘nothing to declare’ channel with too much alcohol and up to three times the legal amount of cigarettes. Under proper procedure these passengers should be arrested.
And too many suspected illegal migrants were being allowed through, including cases where attempted deception and breaches of immigration rules were clear, it found.
The reports are published today as two major immigration unions – the PCS and Immigration Services Union – walk out on strike.