Economic slowdown keeping illegal immigrants away

Just about 9,000 tried to enter the EU from Africa via the Spanish Canary Islands last year

14th July 2009: Economic factors are apparently taking care of the illegal immigration concerns.

Reports suggest the Europe’s economic slowdown is actually acting as a deterrent; and is delaying the arrival of the illegal immigrants to the continent.

Over 31,000 illegal immigrants in 2006 tried to enter the EU from Africa via the Spanish Canary Islands after travelling in unstable boats. The number fell sharply with just about 9,000 making the trip last year.

Already, reports suggest migrants are turning away from Britain and Ireland as a result of hard to find jobs due to recession.

For migrant workers in recession-hit western countries, the position is grim as they remain concentrated in hard-hit industries, and can face discrimination in hiring and layoffs. Their finances are often vulnerable.

It is also believed that action against prospective employees too is acting as a deterrent.

Another set of figures reveals the number of employers prosecuted for taking on illegal immigrants has gone up five-fold, since a new penalty system became law in February this year.

Before the new legislation came into force, just 40 cases were brought against employers. The number has now gone up to 223. The new regulations are considered tough on employers and recruiters, who may have checked into candidate’s backgrounds and been duped by fraudulent documents.

The reports come at a time when the effect of recession is also resulting in housing problems. Latest figures reveal one in seven without shelter in London is East European.

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