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Migrants: Illegal Working

Volume 611: debated on Monday 13 June 2016

The Government are committed to tackling illegal working. The Immigration Act 2016 makes illegal working a criminal offence in its own right, which ensures that wages paid to illegal migrants can be seized as the proceeds of crime, and assets may be confiscated on conviction. The Government are prioritising the implementation of that provision, which will take place on 12 July.

Does my right hon. Friend consider that tackling illegal working has been made easier or harder by the 2014 judgment of the European Court, which forbids the United Kingdom from requiring migrants to have documentation issued by the British Government, although a High Court judge has said that documents issued by other EU member states are systematically forged?

I can reassure my hon. Friend on the steps that Border Force takes to check documentation and the fact that under this Government we have 100% checks of all scheduled passengers arriving here precisely to identify where fraudulent documents are used. The most important thing is the join-up across government in identifying where these activities are taking place, which is precisely what is happening.

On 11 May I wrote to the Home Secretary regarding an illegal worker in the care sector in the UK. I have not received a reply to that letter, but over a month later can the Minister or Home Secretary explain why that illegal worker is still working in the United Kingdom and why anyone seeking to report illegal workers is referred by the Home Office to Crimestoppers rather than the Department dealing with it itself?

I can certainly assure the hon. Gentleman of the steps that immigration enforcement is taking in a number of sectors where abuse has been highlighted, including construction and the care sector. I will certainly follow up on the point he raised about the letter he has sent to ensure that it is being appropriately followed up.

Mark Garnier. Not here. [Interruption.] I have no idea about the whereabouts of the chappie, but we must move on.