The British government announced on Sunday an increase in financial sanctions against those who employ irregular migrants or rent them accommodation, hoping to reduce the attractiveness of the United Kingdom for illegal immigrants.
For employers, the penalties will triple to be increased to 45,000 pounds sterling (52,000 euros) for a first offense and up to 60,000 pounds (69,500 euros) in the event of repeated offenses, according to a press release from the Ministry of the Interior.
On accommodation, repeated breaches of the rules will be increased to £10,000 per lodger and £20,000 per occupant for repeated breaches.
Employers and landlords are required to verify the status of those they want to employ or to whom they want to rent accommodation.
These new penalties will come into force at the beginning of 2024. They had not been revised since 2014.
According to the Home Office, since 2018, 4,000 civil penalties have been imposed on employers, totaling £74million. As for the owners, 230 penalties were imposed for a total amount of 215,500 pounds sterling.
The Interior Ministry further indicates that it will launch consultations to explore options for further action against companies that employ illegal immigrants.
Quoted in the statement, Secretary of State for Immigration Robert Jenrick stressed that making it harder for illegal immigrants to work in the UK is ‘vital’ to tackle illegal Channel crossings on board small craft, which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has promised to end.
“Unscrupulous landlords and employers who allow illegal work and housing allow the business model of evil smugglers to continue,” he added. “There is no excuse for not carrying out the necessary checks and those in breach will risk heavier penalties.”
According to the Interior Ministry, smugglers often use promises of work and accommodation to entice them to make the perilous crossing.
So the government is struggling to materialize controversial promises such as the expulsion of migrants to Rwanda, a project blocked as it is by the courts, it multiplies the announcements, one year from the next general elections where the Labor opposition is given a large winner .
On Sunday, Labor immigration chief Stephen Kinnock said a Labor government would limit to a “very short” period of time to clear up backlogs the use of dockside barges to accommodate asylum seekers.
After a series of delays, the government hopes the first migrants will arrive on a barge in the south of England “in the next few days”, Robert Jenrick said on Sky News.
This article is originally published on arabnews.fr