Friday, May 11, 2012
Wasteful British immigration control
British Border staff search white air passengers to 'even up racial mix' -- at a time when the border agency is seriously understaffed and many passengers are let through without basic checks
White air passengers are routinely stopped and searched by customs officials simply to ensure the right racial ‘mix’ of travellers are being approached, a report reveals today.
It found staff searching for illegal goods at Gatwick Airport selected white passengers to balance the numbers against black and other ethnic minorities they suspected to help avoid race discrimination complaints.
Details of the practice are exposed in one of two highly critical reports by John Vine, chief inspector of the UK Border Agency, who said it was unlawful and must stop.
The second, criticising Heathrow Terminal 3, raised concerns about queues at the borders and found staff were allowed to clock off at some of the busiest times, resulting in long delays for passengers.
Targets for queuing times for passengers from outside the European Economic Area were breached 62 times between September 18 and 30 last year. The longest wait was two hours and 15 minutes.
The racial scanning, seemingly widespread at Gatwick, involved pulling out white passengers when officials wanted to question a black passenger.
One official told inspectors 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’.
He said that when they saw arrivals they ‘knew they had a problem’ because the person they wanted to intercept was the only black passenger on the flight.
The inspectors added: ‘The officer also reported that this practice ... is also used for Caribbean flights to reduce the potential for future race claims.’
At Heathrow Terminal 3, inspectors found two-thirds of passenger searches were ‘neither justified nor proportionate or in line with legislation and agency guidance’.
The reports reveal a number of other areas where the border controls at Britain’s two biggest airports are failing.
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.
The numbers kicked out of the country after being blocked at the terminal border fell by one third.
Mr Vine questioned whether the UK Border Agency was still able to maintain ‘an effective and efficient border control’.
At Gatwick’s North Terminal, inspectors found passengers arriving 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.
Staggeringly, customs officers waved through passengers found with cannabis in their luggage, instead of arresting them. The report said they had failed to follow ‘appropriate procedures’ and the passengers should have been arrested.
Inspectors reported ‘an almost total lack of visible detection presence’ in customs for ‘large parts of the day’.
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.
"Violent" American banned from Britain
Even though what he teaches is self defense. British authorities hate self-defense. You are lucky to get away with it
Tim Larkin, a former Navy SEAL and self-defense instructor, has been banned from entering the U.K. because, in the words of the MP Rosie Cooper: “He teaches extreme and violent self-defense that is unwelcome [in Britain].”
One of Larkin’s philosophies, according to the Telegraph, is: “violence is rarely the answer, but when it is, it’s the only answer.” His website elaborates:
The truth is… your best self defense in a life-or-death confrontation is injuring the other guy. And it’s the one thing that makes us so different.
Because, when you…
* Try to keep yourself from being stabbed – you’ll get stabbed.
* Try to avoid being shot – and you’ll get shot.
It’s the dirty little secret every predator knows but no one in the self defense world talks about. When facing violence on the street today, the only thing guaranteed to get you out alive is injuring your assailant.
Larkin was planning on teaching a number of seminars in the London-area, particularly in Tottenham, where the worst of the riots were located last summer. He was also due to be the keynote speaker at the Martial Arts Show in Birmingham on the 12th and 13th of May.
“It’s a gross overreaction, especially with some of the people who are allowed to come in and out of the UK,” Larkin commented to the BBC.
“There are those rare, rare black swan occasions – like the riots – where law-abiding citizens are put in situations where they are facing grievous bodily harm and they hesitate because they are afraid of being prosecuted. That is a very real thing,” he explained.
Even British citizens are seemingly finding the exclusion order a little ridiculous, with the story being featured in the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, the Guardian, and the BBC.
But is there something more to the story? Or has the Home Office decided that they overreacted? At this point, it seems they’ve actually doubled-down.
Larkin’s presence is “not conducive to the public good” and could encourage vigilantism, a Home Office representative declared. MP Cooper added: “I would [like] to thank the member of the public who alerted me to the threat that Mr. Larkin poses.”
Tim Larkin, on the other hand, believes he is being penalized for criticizing the Britain’s self-defense laws.
“I am not advocating that the UK should be like the US. What am advocating is that the UK should go back to laws it had, prior to 1920,” he clarified. Prior to 1920, there were far fewer gun-control laws in Britain.
This leaves many asking: is Larkin‘s story just the equivalent of Britain’s gun-control crowd going too far, or is there validity to the claim that self-defense training leads to increased violence? And if America’s gun control crowd succeeds in villainizing firearms– will basic self-defense be next?
Australia: In hiring, bosses tend to look for people with a similar cultural background
It makes understanding one-another so much easier. The importance of common culture is well documented in personal relationships and business relationships can be very involving too
Who would you most probably give a job to: Lisa Johnson, Andrew Robinson, Ping Huang or Hassan Baghdadi? Odds are in Canberra Lisa and Andrew will be interviewed, regardless of their suitability for the job.
Ping and Hassan will need to send out twice as many job applications before they'll see an employer.
Canberra business consultant Peter Gordon is stunned at how often bright young job seekers are overlooked because of their non-Anglo sounding names in a city with a skills crisis.
He said hundreds of thousands of international students propped up the budgets of Australian universities and in Canberra more than 10,000 of them contributed $300 million annually to the ACT economy. Their money was eagerly welcomed, but not their offer of skills in the workforce, said Mr Gordon, a director of Economic Futures Australia.
"I met this bloke, a charming Pakistani who had worked for the last seven years in the Middle East. English brilliant, charming, good looking, in his 30s, with his wife, sponsored here by the ACT government under a skilled migration program, with excellent information technology qualifications," Mr Gordon said.
The man applied for a job at his appropriate level, could not get an interview and dropped to entry level applications, only to be told he was over-qualified. Not being a permanent resident ruled him out of the Commonwealth public service, as well as major firms providing goods and services to the government.
Australian National University researchers sent out 4000 fictional applications in 2009 for entry-level jobs in major cities and found people with Chinese and Middle Eastern names needed to submit up to 68 per cent more applications to secure an interview.
Mr Gordon said despite the government's best efforts, he had long been frustrated by the lack of interest among ACT businesses in available talent from overseas.
"I would hesitate using the word racism but I think it is a complete lack of understanding of what it means to be a person with a different background in Canberra. We are ignoring a real, and vital and economic opportunity on our doorstep. It really is incredible."