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Firms caught hiring illegal workers rises

06 May 2008 by
Firms caught hiring illegal workers rises

The number of employers being prosecuted for hiring illegal workers has risen dramatically, according to figures obtained by the BBC.

This is 10 times the number caught in 2007, and more than double the number prosecuted in the previous decade.

Under the new rules introduced in February, employers face fines of up to £10,000 for each illegal immigrant they employ. Persistent offenders also face a jail sentence.

Last month, the chairman of the Labour Party's Ethnic Minority Taskforce called on immigration officials to stop raiding South Asian restaurants in their hunt for illegal immigrants.

Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East, said that officials were entering restaurants at peak times, forcing customers to leave their meals without paying and then closing the restaurant before questioning managers, waiters and chefs.

The MP wants an immediate halt to the raids and talks held with employers to see what can be done to stamp out illegal workers.

"It should not be a requirement for people to go to work with passports," he said.

Immigration officials must stop raiding restaurants at peak time >>

New immigration laws to target hospitality sector >>

Immigration squeeze hits ethnic restaurant sector >>

Hiring immigrant workers >>

Five Quaglino's staff arrested after raid >>

By Daniel Thomas

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