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Employers: Two arrested in immigration raids

26 July 2013

Two immigration offenders have been caught working illegally at businesses in Co Armagh and Co Down.

On Wednesday 24 July 2013 our immigration officers using information they were given visited the Day Today newsagents on Dunbarton Street Gilford, Co Armagh, to carry out immigration checks on staff and arrested a 23-year-old Bangladeshi man who had overstayed his visa.

Last night Thursday 25 July 2013 at the Bangla Restaurant on Main Street, Bangor Co Down a 25-year-old Bangladeshi man was arrested also for overstaying his visa.

The businesses have been fined for employing the illegal workers. To avoid fines of up to £10,000 per employee, employers must give evidence that the correct pre-employment checks were made on the workers - like seeing a passport or Home Office document.

Both men are being held in Home Office detention in Larne House, Larne while steps are taken to return them to their home countries.

Mike Golden for the Home Office, said:

'Foreign nationals who are in this country illegally should be in no doubt that they will be caught, arrested and removed from the UK.

'We are determined to crack down on immigration offenders and anyone found living or working here illegally is liable to be detained and removed.'

Options for increasing fines for rogue businesses who employ illegal migrants, while making administration easier for employers who follow the law, have been made public by the Government.

A six-week consultation has been launched as part of government plans under the Immigration Bill to make it more difficult for illegal migrants to live and work in the UK, and to take stronger action against the employers who take advantage of them. Access the consultation

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said:

'Every day our enforcement officers undertake operations like this across the country to combat illegal working.

'Employers already have a duty to check that their employees have the right to work in the UK, and can face civil penalties if they fail to do so. The Immigration Bill, which we will introduce later this year, will include proposals to get even tougher on unscrupulous employers, who exploit illegal immigrants and undercut legitimate business. But we will also simplify processes to make it easier for compliant employers to fulfill their responsibilities.'

Every year, the Home Office issues fines to hundreds of companies which do not carry out legally-required checks on their staff.

The Home Office provides support to employers so they can understand the rules, including visits by staff, a telephone helpline and website.

Employers who are not sure what to do to avoid employing illegal workers can visit the Preventing illegal working section of our website or they can call the Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.

Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business or someone is living in the UK illegally can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.