Local labour councils are currently in the process of removing UK immigration officers from around the country after calls from councillors. An outcry has pushed labour facilities to stop enabling UK work permit policies and visa restrictions that lead to a hostile environment for UK migrants.
The embedded officials being removed from the process to apply for UK visas are usually responsible for sitting in on meetings between migrant families and councils. These people make sure that the Home Office is aware of all the people applying for emergency funds too.
Additionally, embedded officers can also pass information over to other immigration enforcement offices. According to some people seeking indefinite leave to remain in the UK, these individuals have been accused of encouraging migrants to leave UK voluntarily. Some even provide poor advice that may damage a person's application for a tier 2 work permit or leave to remain.
Campaign groups arguing against these professionals say that migrant families may struggle to ask councils for support because they fear the involvement of unsavoury Home Office officials. The job of these professionals is first and foremost to enforce the law, rather than helping people, according to a Labour source.
The major of Lewisham said that their south-east London council would be removing the immigration UK officials, to help migrants feel more supported. Another council in London Southwark also scrapped their embedded Home Office official in 2018. According to a recent report, the Home Office has been trying to embed immigration officers in various local authorities at high cost. They believe that this strategy will offer real-time information about a person's immigration status.
Project 17, a migrant's rights charity recently urged councils to remove their Home Office officials as part of a freedom of information act. For now, local authorities will need to determine for themselves whether embedded officers are necessary.