I took no risks as I walked through immigration control. No point in aggravating them with a ‘nice uniform’ remark or other such wise cracks. They mainly bother poor and black people, although as I passed through ‘nothing to declare’ a young and affluent-looking black couple were being taken to one side while I, white and middle class, had no such problems. To be fair, there is anecdotal evidence that immigration officers enjoy occasional forays into harassing white, middle class folks too. Australian working holiday makers are a particular favourite. They almost all get through in the end, of course, but an immigration officer will sometimes have some sport along the way.
Although it cannot be recommended for any other reason (it’s not exactly War and Peace), Refusal Shoes by Tony Saint includes insider information on the mindset of immigration officers.
I’m still getting back up to speed with developments back in the UK, of which there at first glance appear to be relatively few. On the gossip front, though, Mark Ockelton, deputy president of the tribunal, has apparently been appointed a deputy high court judge. It will be interesting to see how normal non immigration barristers cope with his unique style of courtroom management. And White Ryland, a solicitors firm with a large immigration contract from the Legal Services Commission and a correspondingly large number of now ex-clients, has gone under. Apparently their contracts have been transferred to arch rival Duncan Lewis, already one of the biggest immigration firms.