As the UK Government steps up its campaign to crack down on employers using illegal workers, reports of immigration arrests are now published by the UK Border Agency on a daily basis.
Even NHS hospitals are not immune to immigration raids with 20 suspects held at a London trust.
This week thirteen immigration offenders have been caught following a series of raids across Wales by immigration officers, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) reports. Further raids are being carried out bu UKBA regional teams up and down the country.
The latest raids took place in Cardiff, Rhyl and the Amman and Swansea valleys on Wednesday (19 January) and were based on intelligence (tip off) of illegal working at 4 businesses.
In Rhyl, a raid was carried out at Seagull International Foods, 31-32 Bedford Street, at 15:30.
Immigration checks revealed 2 men from Pakistan, aged 28 and 33, were working illegally.
Two Bangladeshi men (aged 27 and 30) who were not seen working and who claimed to be customers, were also found to be in the country illegally.
Three of the men were arrested and remain in detention while steps are taken to deport them.
The 33-year-old from Pakistan was released on immigration bail and must report weekly to a police station while the agency arranges his removal from the UK.
The second raid took place at Central House, 10 Station Road, Ystradgynlais, at 18:20.
There, a 34-year-old Malaysian man was found in bed by officers when they conducted a search of accommodation attached to the takeaway.
The man, who had stayed in the country illegally after his visa expired, was placed on immigration bail (released) while arrangements are made to deport him.
In Cardiff, immigration officers went to Mowgli’s, 151 Crwys Road, entering at 20:40.
Four employees from Bangladesh were found to have no legal right to work in the UK.
A 27-year-old man is in immigration detention pending deportation. Three men aged 24, 28 and 30 have been placed on immigration bail and must report weekly to a police station while the agency arranges their removal from the UK.
Finally, Wok U Like, 63a Station Road, Brynamman, was raided at 20:55. There, 4 more offenders were found working illegally.
Two Chinese men, aged 26 and 30, were arrested and remain in detention ahead of their removal from the UK.
Two Chinese men, aged 24 and 35, were placed on immigration bail (released).
Jane Farleigh, regional director, Wales, UK Border Agency said:
‘Through successful operations like this we are sending a simple message to immigration offenders living and working across Wales – more raids are planned and you will be caught.
‘Illegal working undercuts businesses that stay within the law and exploits foreign workers.
‘As long as there are opportunities for illegal jobs the UK will be an attractive place for illegal migrants – that is why we are putting a stop to employers who do not play by the rules.’
All 4 businesses have been issued with a penalty notice for employing illegal workers.
If the employers cannot prove that the correct right-to-work checks – such as asking for a passport or work permit – were carried out on those found working, a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal employee will be imposed.
Every year, the UK Border Agency imposes civil penalties on thousands of companies which fail to carry out the necessary checks on their staff.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said:
‘These operations are among many being carried out across the UK following the success of a major crackdown on immigration crime during the summer, which generated a large number of arrests, cash seizures and prosecutions.
‘Illegal immigration puts huge pressure on the public purse at a time when the country can least afford it. Together with the police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency we will continue to make life as difficult as possible for those who cheat the immigration system.’
The UKBA said that employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit the Preventing illegal working section of this website or phone our employer helpline on 0300 123 4699.
If you suspect that illegal workers are being employed at a business, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit the Crimestoppers website. Anonymity can be assured. Source: UK Border Agency.
Readers may be puzzled as to why UKBA officers after arresting an overstayer who has been hiding for years then release him on ‘immigration bail’ with an order to report every week.
Immigration officers are no doubt frustrated with a system which forces them to release offenders because, for a variety of reasons, they are unable to deport them immediately and do not have the facilities to hold them for long periods with detention centres bursting at the seams.
For instance, if the overstayer has no passport and his or her country will not allow them to travel back without one, UK authorities have no choice but to hold them in detention centres or release them on bail.
Some countries, such as China, take up to a year to reissue a passport – a process which should take a few days – and clearly show no interest in taking their citizens back.
A little-known rule, introduced in 2003, allows illegal immigrants to claim indefinite leave to remain (ILR) if they manage to live in Britain’s black economy for long enough or are failed asylum seekers who manage to avoid deportation.
After 14 years they can apply to the Home Office which considers factors such as “compassionate circumstances, strength of connection to the UK and previous criminal record”, before deciding whether an illegal immigrant will be allowed to stay. However, indefinite leave is not automatically granted when an illegal or overstaying immigrant applies to the Home Office.
Jerry Turner, OISC registered Level 3 Immigration Adviser and appeal specialist said:
“In practice the Home Office try to refuse many of these applications despite meeting the spirit of them. For example in one case a man had spent the previous 7 years sleeping on a mattress on a factory floor and the Home Office refused because he could not produce his “tenancy agreement” or “bank statements.”
His case was eventually won on appeal.
The leading think tank ippr estimates that removing the estimates 500-750,000 over staying immigrants from the UK will take 20 years and cost £5 billion.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:
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