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UKBA's 'Competence' Questioned After Deportation Text Messages Sent To Legal Immigrants

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The UKBA's "competence" has been questioned after "alarming" text messages were mistakenly sent to immigrants with the right to live in Britain, telling them to leave the country.

Home Secretary Theresa May has said she will look into the reported cases where legal immigrants were told to leave the country over the Christmas period by Capita, a consultancy working on behalf of the UK Border Agency (UKBA), if she is provided with details of specific cases.

Julian Huppert, the Lib Dem MP for Cambridge who asked May about the blunder on Monday, told The Huffington Post UK there were questions about the UKBA's "competence" after the incidents.

theresa may

Theresa May has said she will look into specific cases where legal immigrants were told to leave the country

"Getting a text message saying you have to leave the country when you don't is quite alarming but it's more because I'm increasingly concerned about the competence about the UKBA.

"My own experience as an MP is that they make errors on a regular basis, they are often extremely slow to renew visas."

According to the BBC, many people were contacted over the Christmas period including a businessman with a valid visa and a woman with a UK passport - leaving people confused and upset.

The standard message from Capita, whose contract with the UKBA is worth up to £40m, read: "Message from the UK Border Agency: You are required to leave the UK as you no longer have the right to remain."

In a statement they said they were contacting people on the basis of information from the UKBA.

"Capita has been instructed to contact individuals regardless of their legal representation as many of the details the UK Border Agency has on file may be inaccurate and out of date given the age of the cases."

UKBA said in a statement: "We advise anyone contacted in error to contact us so records can be updated. Where our records show that people are here illegally, it is vital we are able to contact them as we are determined that they should return home. This is the first time a government has taken proactive steps to deal with this pool of cases, some of which date back to December 2008."

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