I think the full evidence will be worth a read when it turns up on the Parliament website. Notice in the BBC report the appearance of a new panacea.
"Mr Roberts said he could "understand the public's frustration" but the system would be tightened up when new "electronic borders" came into effect."
Electronic borders, eh ? The ID card will save us all !
Times - "The committee was told by the chief economist at the Department for Work and Pensions that between 200,000 and 300,000 national insurance numbers were issued each year to foreigners and that immigration checks were carried out on only 2 per cent."
BBC - "A senior immigration official has told MPs he did not "have the faintest idea" how many illegal immigrants there were in the UK.
David Roberts, of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND), added there was little point trying to hunt individuals who overstayed their visas."
Telegraph - "In the past, immigration officers went to addresses given by asylum seekers or potential illegal immigrants only to find they were not there."
"The committee questioned other officials over the distribution of National Insurance numbers to foreign nationals. These are used by people who have no right to work in this country to prove they are eligible to do so.
Jonathan Portes, the Department for Work and Pensions chief economist, said NI numbers were not meant to prove entitlement to work, so Jobcentre staff issuing them made no checks about an applicants' immigration status.
Again, the MPs were nonplussed. Mr Denham said: "Given that there is very limited enforcement, would it not be sensible not to issue NI numbers to people who are not legally in the country?"
Mr Winnick said: "Has that thought never occurred to you? Millions will think it the most sensible thing to do."
But Mr Portes said it was the task of the Jobcentre interviewer to establish that the applicant was who they said they were. "It is not about ascertaining whether someone is legally in the country or has the right to work."
At another hearing, Sir Gus O'Donnell, the head of the Civil Service, said the release of foreign prisoners with no attempt to deport them was unlikely to result in the dismissal of any officials."
1 hour ago