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Illegal Migrants

Volume 618: debated on Monday 5 December 2016

17. What steps she is taking to ensure that illegal migrants cannot profit from working in the UK. (907631)

In July this year we implemented new powers in the Immigration Act 2016 to prevent migrants from profiting from working illegally, by making that a criminal offence. That ensures that the profits of working illegally can be seized as the proceeds of crime, and assets may be confiscated on conviction.

I thank the Minister for that answer and ask him to set out to the House what other measures the Government are taking to ensure that those who are here illegally cannot access UK benefits, such as housing or welfare payments.

I reassure my hon. Friend that adults with no legal status here are not eligible to receive public funds in that way.

Victims of people trafficking tell me that they are often prevented from assisting in criminal prosecutions against individuals from abroad who commit criminal offences because they do not have any access to public funds. What discussions has the Home Office had with the Ministry of Justice concerning providing support to victims of people trafficking?

I certainly agree with the hon. Gentleman that if people who are here illegally have been exploited through modern slavery because they have been trafficked, it is important that we treat them with a degree of compassion and respect, and that we treat them differently from people who are not in that situation.