US proposals to pre-clear US visitors at UK airports
The US seems to have made a proposal/plan for a preclearance system for visitors to the USA which could see armed immigration officers based in British airports. The plan which is currently being discussed between officials in Westminster and Washington would allow the US to screen people before they arrive in the US.
A plan for a preclearance system for visitors to the USA could see armed immigration officers based in British airports. The plan which is currently being discussed between officials in Westminster and Washington would allow the US to screen people before they arrive in the US.
A Home Office spokesman has confirmed, “Discussions are ongoing with the US.” As part of the plan, airlines would need to hire additional staff in the UK and that cost would be passed onto passengers flying to the US. Edinburgh and Manchester airports are supposedly considering the plans.
Many in the Trump administration are keen on the plans which would allow travellers to be vetted before they get onto US soil. The plans would mean that the US would not have to worry about sending people back to their country of origin and having to swallow that costs associated with doing that.
The US is an attractive destination for travellers and it also has a history of being tough on immigration, this has only been increased since Donald Trump entered the White House. His policies of stringent immigration and the potential all out ban of Muslims travelling to the US have caused an uproar.
Though it was originally signed into law by way of executive order, it is currently being held up by the US legal system and is awaiting a full hearing by the Supreme Court. The sight of armed immigration officials in UK airports may be unappealing to many in the UK, while British Prime Minister is among the few World leaders who are at least courteous with Trump, many will feel that these officials have no place in the UK. Indeed it appears to be a case of the US flexing their muscles and the UK passively accepting it.
The plans are early in development and could take many years to be implemented. A plan would need to be produced for every individual UK airport that flies to the US as they are all very different to each other. The extra cost associated along with the longer check in times mean that chaos could ensue at already busy airports in the UK for these special measures.
On top of this, there will also be the measures that will need to be introduced after Brexit. British airports already face an impending problem once Brexit takes place in 2019, add to this the potential problem of pre-clearing the US-bound passengers and you could end up with huge problems at Britain's airports which are already heading for trouble due to a lack of capacity, at least in the South-East of England.
Decisions on the future of Britain's airport capacity are also not helping matters, the case for a third runway at Heathrow appears to be the one that will win, but the government are keen to put this on the back-burner to deal with more pressing issues.
Though it seems now this one will become more pressing than ever. Reiss Edwards boast of leading immigration solicitors who are well versed with EU law applications and UK immigration law. Our lawyers specialise in business immigration applications including sponsor licence and Tier 1 Entrepreneur applications. As well as personal immigration applications such EU law applications, work permits and family immigration applications.
Author: Jonathan Otovwe