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Illegal Immigrants: Employment

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) companies and (b) individuals have been successfully prosecuted for employing illegal immigrants. (175177)

National Statistics showing the number of persons proceeded against and found guilty under section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 in England and Wales are shown in the accompanying table.

The measures contained in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 to tackle illegal migrant working, which provide the UK Border Agency with a wider and more effective range of tools with which to tackle non-compliance, came into force on 29 February 2008. The 2006 Act introduced a system of civil penalties for employers who employ illegal migrants through less than diligent practices, alongside a tough new offence for those who knowingly employ illegal migrants, which carries a maximum two year prison sentence and/or an unlimited fine.

Published statistics on immigration and asylum are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty under section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 in England and Wales, 1997-20061, 2

Number of persons

Employing a person aged 16 and above subject to immigration control

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

20053

20063

Proceeded against

0

1

4

10

5

2

2

11

23

11

Found guilty

0

1

1

4

1

1

1

8

13

7

1 Principal immigration offence. 2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. 3 Figures are provisional.