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Asylum and Immigration Act 1996

Volume 477: debated on Friday 13 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many employers have been (a) prosecuted for and (b) convicted of an offence under section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 in each of the last 10 years; and what penalties were imposed in each case. (167714)

I have been asked to reply.

Statistics showing the number of defendants proceeded against and found guilty under section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996, from 1997 to 2006, in England and Wales, are shown in the following table. All defendants found guilty of this offence were given a fine; with the exception of one defendant in 2005 who was given a conditional discharge.

Information on persons proceeded against for offences under Immigration Acts 1971 to 2004 during 2007 will be available in the autumn of 2008.

We are committed to bringing forward the implementation of measures contained in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 to tackle illegal migrant working, which has provided the Border and Immigration Agency with a wider and more effective range of tools with which to tackle non-compliance. 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. These new measures came into force on 29 February 2008.

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

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

Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts under Section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 in England and Wales, 1997 to 20061, 2: Employing a person aged 16 and above subject to immigration control

Number of persons

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.