Simon Hughes, Sun (London), May 25, 2006
A suspended immigration chief facing a sex-for-visas probe was an illegal immigrant himself, The Sun can reveal.
James Dawute, 53, is believed to have arrived from Ghana as a visitor, then stayed on unlawfully when his visa expired.
Last night a senior Whitehall source admitted: “He should have been booted out.”
A second inquiry to establish how Dawute gained the right to remain in Britain is also now underway.
Disclosures about his background add to the scandals already plaguing the Home Office’s beleaguered Immigration and Nationality Directorate.
The crisis has already cost Immigration Minister Tony McNulty his job.
According to a furious whistleblower, Dawute arrived in Britain during the 1980s and remained when he should have left.
The source said: “He was here for two years when he shouldn’t have been and was then somehow given a job by the immigration service.”
Another Whitehall source admitted: “He has a dubious immigration history but apparently is here legally now.
“What appears to have happened is that he arrived here legally, probably from Ghana, and then overstayed.
“As someone here illegally he should of course have been shown the door. It’s all being looked into but I don’t think he should be here at all.”
Ex-Tory Home Office minister Ann Widdecombe said: “There is nothing left to surprise me.
“This is a catalogue of scandal and foul-up. It wouldn’t shock me to learn the Home Secretary is an illegal immigrant.”
Dawute’s conduct came under the spotlight following The Sun’s revelations back in JANUARY about a sex-for-visas racket at Britain’s busiest immigration centre, Lunar House, in Croydon, South London.
The father of four is a chief immigration officer at the centre — a post that carries a salary of up to £30,000 a year.
He was taped demanding sex from an 18-year-old asylum seeker called Tanya. He promised to help her after picking her out of a queue at Croydon.
Dawute was recorded telling her: “You are going to have sex.
“I am going to make love to you.”
He is now suspended while an investigation is carried out into a complaint from the girl.
Last night a Home Office spokesman said: “We do not comment on individual cases.”