Small businesses face illegal immigrant crackdown » SMEInsider

Small businesses face illegal immigrant crackdown

Takeaway and off licence owners are at risk of losing their business if they are found to be hiring illegal immigrants, according to the new immigration bill that will be introduced this autumn.

The bill also contains measures that mean illegal immigrants could face up to six months in prison, as well as receiving a potentially unlimited fine and having their wages seized.

SME owners will have to show that they carried out legal checks when hiring staff, as the immigration bill now prevents shop owners from claiming that they didn’t know they were hiring an illegal immigrant. Employers could also face a maximum sentence of five years if caught with illegal immigrants.

James Brokenshire, minister of state for immigration and security, has pledged that the government will continue to ‘‘crack down on abuse’’ that is appearing within the UK job market.

‘‘Anyone who thinks the UK is a soft touch should be in no doubt – if you are here illegally, we will take action to stop you from working, renting a flat, opening a bank account or driving a car,’’ stated Brokenshire.

This new announcement follows last month’s news that landlords would now have to evict their tenants if they lose the right to live in the UK.

‘‘As a one nation government we will continue to crack down on abuse and build an immigration system that works in the best interests of the British people and those who play by the rules,’’ continued Brokenshire.