Wednesday, March 27, 2013

UK: Immigration politics and biometrics

The United States isn't the only place where immigration politics — and the role of biometrics — are coming to the fore. They're very timely issues in the UK, as well. covers Prime Minister David Cameron's policy prescriptions like the dew covers Dixie, here: Cameron announces tough reforms to UK immigration.

The Guardian provides some analysis here: Immigrants' residents permits: how would they work?
The repeated refusal of GPs, social housing officers and social security staff to act as immigration officers also means that if more robust residence tests are to be introduced for other EU nationals then an easy and authoritative way is needed of checking how long they have been in the country and what their immigration status is.

Ministers have confirmed that they are looking at plans to take fingerprints and other biometric data to be stored on a card with a photograph and electronic signature from new arrivals from next year.
It is within this context that the beleaguered UK Border Agency is being broken up (BBC). The UKBA is currently responsible for border protection, visa & passport issuance, asylum cases, immigration law enforcement, etc.