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Security: Illegal Immigration

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many of the 3,275 cases where persons were suspected of working in the security industry in breach of immigration laws after a false name or national insurance number had been given to the Security Industry Authority have resulted in the (a) prosecution and (b) deportation or removal of the person concerned from the United Kingdom. (244298)

Premature release of information relating to the introduction of right to work checks within the security industry was likely to have forewarned potential targets of our investigation into illegal working and compromised the UK Border Agency’s opportunity to mount targeted, intelligence led removal operations. Nevertheless the UK Border Agency carried out an extensive programme of visits to workplaces and home addresses during the course of its subsequent investigation.

UK Border Agency internal management information indicates that 13 cases have been proceeded against for criminal offences, mainly involving forgery or the use of false identities and at least 35 former Security Industry Authority licence holders have been removed so far. This information has not been quality assured under national statistics protocols, is subject to change and should be treated as provisional.

In February this year, we introduced a tough new system of heavy financial penalties for employers found to be employing illegal migrant workers, making it progressively more difficult for illegal immigrants to remain in the United Kingdom. As a result of this—and the publicity surrounding action taken to revoke these licences—we believe that many more individuals will have left the country voluntarily at no cost to the UK taxpayer.