Clampdown On Illegal Immigrants

The Home Office is launching a drive to reduce the number of illegal immigrants in the UK. Measures aimed at increasing the number of deportations from the country will include giving immigration officers greater powers of arrest.

From January the public will be asked to report suspects anonymously, while employers will be warned against taking on illegal immigrant workers.

A bill tackling deportations was included in last week’s Queen’s Speech.

The Border and Immigration Bill set before Parliament by Home Secretary John Reid seeks to speed up the process of deporting criminals and tackle loopholes through which illegal immigrants enter the country.

The government has already said it is doubling the budget for deportations to nearly £300m.

On Monday the Home Office announces measures they hope will increase the number of people deported from the UK.

It is also giving immigration officers powers to arrest British citizens for the first time if they suspect they have been involved in smuggling in illegal immigrants.

From January the public will be asked to report suspects by phoning the Crimestoppers number anonymously while later this month there will be a campaign warning employers they face action if they give work to illegal immigrants.

The government is responding to frequent criticism from political opponents that it has failed to remove enough of those identified as being here illegally.

In the past three months there were nearly 5,000 deportations – this constituted a record, but according to critics it is a mere drop in the ocean compared with an estimated half a million people in the UK illegally.