As the Home Office announces yet another immigration clampdown, mainly targeting employers and landlords, many Care Providers will be asking how this will help them find staff. The short answer is: it won’t.
John Reid will allocate £100 million to curb illegal immigration and strengthen UK borders. Measures being introduced include compulsory ID Cards for foreign nationals, more enforcement teams to track down bosses employing illegal workers and sending migrants a text message to remind them that their visas are about to expire.
Shadow home secretary David Davis accused John Reid of giving up on trying to deport hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, preferring to “spam them with text messages”.
Shadow immigration minister Damian Green said: “The idea that you are texting someone, saying that we are on your trail is just a joke. Do they have the mobile numbers of more than half a million illegal immigrants? No of course they don’t.”
Last night I was invited onto Anita Anand’s talk show on Radio Five Live along with Andrew Moxon, the whistle blowing former Home Office worker and Labour MEP Claude Moraes to discuss the proposals published 7th March 2007.
I argued that whilst we all applaud the government’s efforts to deal with illegal immigration and people traffickers, they should not expect legitimate employers in the Care Industry to take responsibility for the half a million already in the UK illegally.
I went on to say that the government should stop “bashing employers over the head” and help them with the problem of identifying people here illegally. Illegal immigrants do not have an “illegally here” stamp on their head, they have visa stamps in their passports, drivers licences and National Insurance numbers issued by the Department of Work and Pensions.
After all if the Home Office cannot spot illegal immigrants working inside their own offices what chance have the rest of us got?
In the meantime Work Permits are already becoming harder to obtain, as rules are further tightened month on month. The Home Office are making life difficult for employers and overseas workers who apply for work permits and extensions of leave to remain.
In the last month’s issue I reported that the Home Office had stepped up post-issue compliance checking and had cancelled several Work Permits where the terms and conditions of were not strictly followed.
In the lead up to the Points Based System, expected to be implemented from April 2008, the Home Office are already adopting a harder line.
If you should have any questions on visas, entry clearance or need help with an appeal, please email Charles Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be speaking at the ‘Showcase for Social Care and Social Work’, organized by Surrey Care Association and Skills for Care, on: “Employing Overseas Staff?” – 14th March 2007 at the Copthorne Hotel, Effingham Park.
For regular immigration updates see: www.immigrationmatters.co.uk
USEFUL WEBSITES www.immigrationmatters.co.uk/useful_websites.html