Number of irregular migrant workers in UK unknown, says Brokenshire

The UK Government doesn’t know how many irregular migrants are employed in the country, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire has said.

In a written response to Christopher Chope, MP for Christchurch, Mr Brokenshire said: “HM Government has not made any estimate of the number of illegal migrants currently employed in the UK. Given the clandestine nature of illegal migrants, any estimation is, by definition, extremely difficult and prone to considerable uncertainty.”

Mr Chope had asked the Home Office to provide the most recent estimate of the number of illegal immigrants employed in the UK. He also wanted to know if there had been a change in the number of illegal immigrants since May 2010.

Mr Brokenshire said they were keen to fight illegal immigration and were “focusing on measures to ensure that illegal migrants cannot live, work or abuse benefits and services in the UK.”

“The Immigration Bill,” Mr Brokenshire said, “will prevent illegal migrants from accessing and abusing public services. It will also strengthen our existing arrangements to prevent illegal working, by making it easier to enforce penalties on employers found to be employing illegal workers.”

The minister added that the Immigration Bill will “reform the removals and appeals system, making it simpler to remove those with no right to be in the UK; and end the abuse of Article 8 of the ECHR—the right to respect for private and family life.”

The other measures to fight illegal immigration include doubling the maximum penalty for employing an illegal worker and strengthening the scheme as a whole, including by simplifying the checks employers must perform, Mr Brokenshire said.

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