Prior to the implementation of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, legislation to prevent illegal migrant working was in place in the form of Section 8 of the Asylum and Nationality Act 1996. This placed a requirement on employers to check and record certain specified documents before a potential employee is employed, if the employer wanted to establish a statutory defence from prosecution for employing an illegal migrant worker.
The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 has, since it came into force on 29 February 2008, allowed the UK Border Agency to instead issue civil penalties of up to £10,000 per worker to employers who are found to be liable for employing illegal migrant workers.
This is combined with the introduction of a new criminal offence of knowingly employing an illegal migrant worker (under Section 21 of the 2006 Act). This will help in the more serious cases where rogue employers knowingly and deliberately use illegal migrant workers, often for personal financial gain. This will carry a maximum two-year custodial sentence and/or an unlimited fine.
The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 does not apply retrospectively; therefore, any employer who is found to have been employing a person illegally prior to 29 February 2008 (when the 2006 Act came into force) may still risk prosecution under Section 8 of the 1996 Act. To comply with the requirements of the 2006 Act, which would apply to employees who started work since 29 February 2008, an employer would have to satisfy themselves of the entitlement of prospective employees to work in the UK to ensure they are not employing an illegal migrant worker before the employment begins.
Offences of human trafficking are prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants Act, etc.) 2004.
Figures from the UK Human Trafficking Centre's interrogation of the police national computer show as of 24 May, the number of arrests and convictions as below:
Arrests Convictions 2006 111 35 2007 135 22 2008 177 30 2009 76 2
In each year since 2006, the following number of foreign nationals have been excluded from the UK on grounds of (a) national security, and (b) unacceptable behaviour:
In 2006 (a) 40 (b) 32 In 2007 (a) 80 (b) 21 In 2008 (a) 26 (b) 12 To date 2009 (a) 7 (b) 18
To date 2009
The attached table sets out the total number of arrests for suspected illegal entry and Section 10 offences. Due to changes in the nature of the system used to record details of arrests made by the UK Border Agency, complete and reliable data are only available from October 2006.
Section 10 offences include overstaying, working in breach of conditions, claiming public funds in breach of conditions, and obtaining leave to remain by deception.
These figures do not constitute part of national statistics as they are based on internal management information. The information has not been quality assured under national statistics protocols, should be treated as provisional and is subject to change.
Period Illegal Entry Arrests Section 10 Arrests Oct 2006-Mar 2007 2,546 1,337 2007-08 4,626 3,924 2008-09 4,362 3,739
Illegal Entry Arrests
Section 10 Arrests
Oct 2006-Mar 2007
Applicants whose application and any associated appeal is finally rejected are expected to leave the country. If they do not do so action will be taken to enforce their removal. In 2008, case ownership was introduced for all in-country cases.
Further information on the UK Border Agency's enforcement strategy is available to view at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/managingborders/enforcement/.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 1 June (WA 41), whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the List of Unacceptable Behaviours published by the then Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, in August 2005. [HL4479]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what emphasis they give in their asylum and immigration policies to family reunion; whether they will increase that emphasis; and whether they encourage European Union, European Economic Area and Middle-Eastern states to promote family reunion. [HL4529]
The UK's family reunification policy is laid out in Part 8 of the Immigration Rules (HC 395), covering family members. The Immigration Rules state that sponsors must be present and settled in the UK, in order for an application under one of the family reunification routes to be successful. The only exception to this is where the sponsor, following an asylum claim, has been granted five years, limited leave as a refugee or five years, temporary protection (ie humanitarian protection). In both circumstances, where only limited leave has been granted to the sponsor, an application for family reunification will be considered under Part 11 of the Immigration Rules.
There are differences between family reunification rights under Community law for EEA nationals (directive 2004/38/EC) and UK immigration provisions, mainly that the definitions of family members are different and the concept of extended family members is present in the directive only.
The UK is not a signatory to the Council directive 2003/86/EC on family reunification and as such does not actively encourage/discourage family reunion from other member states. EU nationals are entitled to exercise their free movement rights under the free movement directive 2004/38/EC accordingly.
The UK has no immediate plans to change policy with reference to family reunification.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made on the introduction of the points-based system of immigration for entry into the United Kingdom of overseas students to higher education institutions; and what changes have been made since 30 March. [HL4533]
Educational institutions have been able to apply for a sponsor licence under tier 4 since 28 July 2008. Tier 4 itself was implemented on 31 March 2009. Since then, all non-EEA students applying to enter or remain in the UK have done so under the new tier 4 arrangements. On 1 June 2009 there was a further update to the application form and guidance. This is available on the UK Border Agency website with a summary of the recent key changes to tier 4 at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsarticles/pbs-new-forms-for-students.