The UKBA has been heavily criticised at all levels. John Vine's recent report has also been scathing of the UKBA. It just can't seem to get anything right!
It has been accused of being slow when decision making. Case workers fail to apply relevant policies to applicants and enforcement is weak.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has stated herself that the UKBA is a 'closed and secretive agency', a 'troubled organisation…and its performance is not good enough'.
The UKBA will now be brought back into the Home Office. It was previously part of the Home Office before 2008. There will be two separate departments, immigration and law enforcement. These will both be under direct control of ministers once again.
The Home Secretary admitted that there was a backlog of cases which now reaches 310,000. Now that ministers will be in control they will also be directly accountable for clearing this backlog and bringing immigration control into the 21st century.
Some fellow politicians have congratulated the Home Secretary for delivering the 'lethal injection' to the agency but warn that it could take up to 24 years for the back log of cases to be cleared. Others have criticised May herself and accused her that the agency has become worse under her watch.
Whilst this may or may not be true, what is commendable is that the government are finally recognising the long standing problems with the UKBA and steps are now being taken to attempt to remedy some of these problems.
Only time will tell if there is to be real and substantive change in the culture of what will formerly be known as the UKBA or if it is merely the same people working in the same departments under a different name.