New Crackdown On Illegal Immigrants

Home Secretary John Reid will this week launch a drive to deny illegal immigrants the benefits of living in the UK. Immigration minister Liam Byrne said the initiative would involve a cross-Government effort to ensure that illegals cannot get housing, healthcare or work.

Reports suggested that this could include fines of up to £20,000 for landlords who rent properties to illegal immigrants and £5,000 for bosses who knowingly employ them. The News of the World also reported that Home Office officials have been put into the DVLA to crack down on illegal immigrants applying for driving licences.

Mr Byrne told ITV1’s The Sunday Edition: “We are announcing the first cross-Government strategy to block the benefits of Britain if you are here illegally. It is bringing together public agencies from across Government to block benefits like housing, healthcare, National Insurance numbers, work, for those who are here illegally.”

Mr Byrne said that the move marked a shift of emphasis following the Government’s success – announced last week – in achieving its aim of removing more failed asylum-seekers than are arriving in the UK.

It goes hand in hand with moves to beef up the powers of immigration officers to police the borders, as well as compulsory ID cards for foreign nationals seeking to settle in the UK.

The ID cards will make it easier for employers to establish whether individuals are in the country legally before offering them work, he said.