London (BBN)-Police in the UK would be able to seize the wages of illegal migrants as proceeds of crime, under new proposals to be announced by David Cameron Thursday.
The measures will form part of what Cameron will say is a “tougher but fairer” approach to immigration from the Conservative government, the BBC reports, and will be included in the Queen’s speech.
The news comes as new figures reveal that net migration in the UK rose to 318,000 last year, a rise of more than 109,000 compared to the previous year.
The government argues that depriving illegal migrants of earnings will discourage them from staying in the UK.
A new criminal offence of illegal working will apply to anyone who has entered the country illegally or has overstayed.
Migrants with leave to remain who are working illegally can be prosecuted under the Immigration Act 1971, and subject to a custodial sentence or a fine, but a loophole overlooks those that have entered illegally or overstayed.
This new offence will close that loophole.
The measures are part of a broader effort to “control and reduce” immigration.
The measures are part of a broader effort to “control and reduce” immigration.
Cameron is expected to say in a speech in London that a “strong country is one that controls immigration… not one that pulls up the drawbridge.”
“The truth is it has been too easy to work illegally and employ illegal workers here… so we’ll take a radical step – we’ll make illegal working a criminal offence in its own right.”
“That means wages paid to illegal migrants will be seized as proceeds of crime… and businesses will be told when their workers’ visas expire… So if you’re involved in illegal working – employer or employee – you’re breaking the law.”
Other proposed measures to be announced include powers for councils to deal with landlords charging unfair rents and satellite tracking tags for foreign criminals awaiting deportation.
It will also become an offence for recruitment agencies or businesses to hire from abroad unless they’ve advertised in the UK first.