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Immigration (Inquiries)

Volume 126: debated on Monday 1 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if interpreters are available at all international airports in the United Kingdom to deal with immigration inquiries; and if he will make a statement.

The immigration service employs eight full-time interpreters, all of whom are stationed at Heathrow. Between them they are able to offer interpretative facilities in seven languages. At the last count over 1,500 immigration officers and chief immigration officers were drawing qualifying allowances in 33 different languages. In addition, officers in charge at all ports are authorised to use hourly-paid interpreters when necessary, drawn from lists of suitable persons kept locally.