Since then he’s earned the ire of the Home Office by exposing failures in border controls that led to 500,000 people arriving in the country unchecked, and 150,000 migrants who were refused entry but subsequently “lost”.
As he prepares to step down, Mr Vine had this to say in response to people who believe asylum seekers and economic migrants who come to the UK have a “cushy” life.
“I meet a lot asylum-seekers and they always appear to me to be genuinely people who are fleeing persecution and deserve to be treated appropriately.
I don’t think they have a cushy life. Very often they rely upon the support of friends and families. My job is ensure that the Home Office treats those applicants properly, fairly and in accordance with the law.
Clearly there are people who are economic migrants and want a better life in the UK and may claim asylum as a way of achieving that. Again, those people deserve to be treated fairly and within the law.”
His opinion on the Home Secretary Theresa May is less than flattering..
“The home secretary just can’t seem to get a grip and make our borders safe, but instead of sorting out the problems that have been highlighted to her she’s changed the way inspection reports are published so she can bury the bad news.
“It’s a cynical ploy and means nothing is being done to fix the huge problems in our borders and immigration service.
“It’s unacceptable and we need real progress on these problems and a secure border now.”