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UK Border Agency in dock for hiring illegal migrants

The 349-odd illegal migrants include doctors, teachers, nurses, care workers

4th January 2010: Despite tall claims by the Home Office of initiating action against illegal migrants, reports confirm they have been working in top Government offices.

In fact, what is being seen as a “mockery” of the whole process, reports indicate illegal migrants have even been working in the headquarters of the UK Border Agency, entrusted with the task of keeping them out of the country.

In all, approximately 349 illegal foreign staff with no right to work since 2006 has been employed, including included doctors, teachers, nurses and care workers.
Reports suggest the Home Office has itself admitted employing a dozen illegal foreign staff. This includes a chef cooking meals for workers, including the Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

The Home Office, in fact, admitted employing 11 Nigerians and one Ghanaian over the past four years. As many as 10 of them worked as cleaners at the UK Border Agency HQ in Croydon, south London.

Two others worked at the Home Office headquarters in Whitehall – one as a chef in the staff canteen and another as a security guard.

The admission comes soon after the Home Office claimed: “Employers in Dorset caught employing illegal migrant workers have been fined almost £120,000 by the UK Border Agency during 2009. And almost 140 immigration offenders have been removed from the UK in 2009 after being found living or working illegally in Dorset”.

The Agency had also claimed in 2009 organizations hiring illegal workers had paid approximately £230,000 as fine.

Inspector Colin Daulby of the Local Immigration Team Norfolk had asserted in 2009 alone, “we’ve issued fines worth approximately £230,000 to more than 25 businesses in the county”.

He had added: ‘There are strict rules about which foreign nationals can get a job in the UK and businesses have a clear responsibility to carry out the right checks.’
The Home Office was one of three Government departments, 34 local authorities and 54 NHS Trusts who admitted hiring the 349-odd illegal foreign staff members.
Reacting sharply to the information, critics claimed many more of estimated one million illegal immigrants in Britain could be working in sensitive government jobs.

Describing it as “the tip of the iceberg”, Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said if the Home Office can let an illegal immigrant into its head office to cook food for staff, heaven knows what else is going on in the public sector.

The problem of illegal immigration would only be solved by proper policing of the borders; and they could not go on with such a lax approach from the Government.
Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatchUK, said the effectiveness of ability to remove illegal immigrants was central to the whole immigration system. If the government department responsible was employing illegals, directly or indirectly, it was sending out the worst possible signal.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said the 12 illegal workers identified since 2006 were all sub-contractors, none of them were directly employed by the Home Office.

It was their checks and the strict regime they operate on illegal working in the UK that brought these cases to light.
"We are doing more than ever before to crack down on illegal working, with raids taking place up and down the country every week, and thousands of rule breakers deported," he said.

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