The ethnicity of immigration control
Sir - There are certainly very serious questions to be asked about the manning, mission and effectiveness of the Border and Immigration Agency of the Home Office, previously the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (Letters, July 5). It says its role is "securing our borders, enforcing our immigration laws and managing migration to the benefit of the UK". Its catastrophic failure to perform these functions correctly is plain for all to see.
When I said to a previous Home Secretary that the controls at our ports of entry were "beacons of political correctness", he replied that I had made a demeaning remark. I therefore asked the Home Office what proportion of its staff in the various immigration, identity and passport services were from ethnic minorities.
Given that ethnic minorities are estimated to form about 6.7 per cent of our total population of working age, I was alarmed to receive the reply that, of those staff whose ethnicity was recorded, 29 per cent of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, 30 per cent of the Immigration Service and 14 per cent of the Identity and Passport Service were from ethnic minorities.
While it is only right and proper that all law-abiding bona fide citizens, regardless of ethnicity, should have equal opportunities, the manning of our front-line immigration services is curiously disproportionate. It does not promote confidence in the agencies responsible for the control of our borders and therefore the security and integrity of our nation.
It is significant that these figures represent ‘those staff whose ethnicity was recorded’. How many are unrecorded? Why is the figure so disproportionate? Is there an agenda? Is it racist to enquire? Is it a thought-crime to believe there might be?
Perhaps only when Parliament is so disproportionately stocked with ethnic minority MPs, and the Qur’an, the Guru Granth Sahib, and the Laws of Manu are placed in the dispatch box to supplant the Bible, will questions be asked…