Immigration officials “just don’t know” who is in Britain and who is not, the former head of the border control agency has said.
Tony Smith, who retired last month, admitted that immigration had been out of control for years.
The former chief executive of the UK Border Agency said the immigration system had never recovered from the period a decade ago when there was a “huge influx” of migrants, with 100,000 asylum seekers a year.
Mr Smith told the Sun newspaper that many illegal immigrants who entered Britain between 2000 and 2003 had discarded their passports and changed their names to avoid detection.
“That’s one of the big problems. We just don’t know who’s here and who isn’t. The immigration process has been a very tricky journey.
“That was the time we had 100,000 asylum seekers arriving a year, people camping on the beaches in Dover.
We just don’t know who’s here and who isn’t