A UK immigration official has been arrested for allegedly migrating to the country illegally, local media outlets reported this week. The man worked for the Home Office, the UK equivalent of the U.S. Homeland Security agency, which is responsible for maintaining border security. Local media reported that officials acted quickly when issues with his immigration status were uncovered. Read on to find out more about the suspect, how he allegedly stayed in the UK by deception, and where the country's immigration crisis stands now.
Immigration Status Led to Second of Two Arrests
The man is reportedly in his late 30s and entered the UK from the Balkan region about 20 years ago, the Sun reported. He allegedly lied about his country of origin to obtain the right to stay in the UK. At the time, hundreds of young Albanian men obtained asylum in Britain by falsely claiming to be from Kosovo.
"Allowing an alleged illegal migrant to infiltrate the ranks of your border agency is pretty embarrassing," a source told the Sun. "With the eyes of the whole country on Border Force at the moment, this is the last thing they need."
First Arrest Involved Theft Conspiracy
The same man is believed to be one of four Border Force employees who were arrested in a separate incident on Dec. 6, the Sun reported. The four employees were arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office and conspiracy to steal.
Three were arrested at the Western Jet Foil immigration center in Dover, Kent—a seaside down about 75 miles southeast of London—while the fourth person's arrest location was unclear.
How He Was Caught
Officers from the Home Office Anti-Corruption Unit made the arrests, searching the suspects' homes and seizing electronic devices. "On December 6, the Home Office Anti-Corruption Unit arrested four members of immigration staff on suspicion of misconduct in public office and conspiracy to steal," a spokesperson for the UK's Home office said.
"They have been released pending further investigation and were immediately suspended. One officer arrested as part of the conspiracy had previously been arrested and bailed on immigration offences." They added: "We expect the highest standards of our staff. As soon as we are made aware of allegations of wrongdoing, they are rigorously investigated and we do not hesitate in taking decisive action."
Immigration Tense Topic in UK
The arrest comes as immigration remains a hot-button issue in the US and UK. Both superpowers are dealing with an influx of migrants at their borders that has been characterized as a crisis lacking a long-term solution. In the UK, employees of the Border Force went on strike for eight days over Christmas, seeking better pay and working conditions. Demonstrations at six of the country's airports were set to end on Saturday morning.
Immigration Surging By Sea
UK lawmakers, particularly Home Secretary Suella Braverman, are under pressure to find solutions to the country's border crisis. This year, more than 45,000 migrants have entered the UK in small boats, an increase of 60% over last year. UK taxpayers are reportedly paying $6.5 million a day to house incoming migrants in hotels, the Sun reported.