Sunday, May 16, 1999 Published at 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Refugees 'not swamping' immigration
A Kosovo Albanian child in temporary housing in Scotland
Union claims that the immigration service is "close to collapse" because of the Kosovo crisis have been denied by the government.
But the Public and Commercial Services Union said a "massive backlog" of immigration and asylum applications had been caused by delays in installing a new computer system.
Staff shortages and office relocations had also contributed to the problem, it said.
But the Home Office said that everyone who turned up was seen on the same day. A spokeswoman said the situation was in hand, and added: "Recovery measures have been put in place and the situation is beginning to improve."
Latest estimates from United Nations High Commissioner (UNHCR) for Refugees put the number of people displaced from Kosovo at more than 748,000 since Nato bombing started on 24 March.
The UK, which has been criticised for its hesitation in taking in refugees, has now offered to take up to 1,000 refugees a week under the UNHCR evacuation programme.
Manchester welcomed about 150 refugees last week, and Scotland housed 300 Kosovo Albanians on 9 May.
The Northern Ireland Office has also said the province would host an unspecified number of refugees identified as priority cases by the UNHCR.