UK Immigration Raids: Officers Arrest ‘Illegal’ Restaurant Workers

Last week, Home Office immigration officers raided a restaurant in Dunstable and arrested three workers suspected of being in the UK with no valid leave. Immigration raids by the Home Office are beginning to become more common in recent news as reports reveal that the Home Office have taken a harsh stance towards those suspected of living and working illegally in the UK.

The Home Office are also toughening up on UK business owners who are employing migrants from outside the EEA and intend to toughen civil penalties for businesses employing illegal migrants once the Immigration Bill becomes law.

UK Restaurant Raided in search for ‘Illegal Workers’

Home Office immigration officers, visited Zeera in Tring Road, Dunstable and found three members of staff of Bangladeshi origin had overstayed their visas. The officers arrested and detained two of the men aged 37 and 19 and arrested and bailed a third man aged 39. It seems now that the restaurant owner faces civil penalties of £10,000 for each illegal worker. Should it be found that the business owner did not carry out the relevant employment checks, they will be penalised by the Home Office.

A member of the Immigration Enforcement team making the raid stated:

“These arrests are a clear warning to those in Bedfordshire abusing our immigration laws. There will be no let up in our work to arrest, detain and remove you from the UK.”

He also sent a stark warning to employers who were employing those with no valid leave to remain in the UK.

UK Businesses Fined for Employing Illegal Workers

The government intends to toughen civil penalties for businesses employing illegal migrants once the Immigration Bill becomes law. The following is a summary of these proposals:

  • The maximum penalty for employing illegal workers will increase to £20,000;
  • The way civil penalties are calculated will be simplified;
  • The way unpaid penalties can be enforced in the civil courts will be simplified; and
  • There will be measures to allow recovery of a civil penalty from directors and partners of limited liability businesses following failure to pay by the businesses.

Immigration Legal Advice for UK Employers & Illegal Workers

If you are a UK business and have been affected by the Home Office’s raids, contact us to discuss this further. Business owners sponsoring migrants from outside the EEA must ensure that they are legally registered to sponsor these migrants and must have a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence. If the Home Office has contacted you in relation to carrying out a compliance visit at your business premises, contact us for legal advice.

Illegal migrants with strong Human Rights arguments ought to take legal advice and regularise their stay in the UK as soon as possible and before it is too late. Contact us to discuss your immigration situation and we will assess your case and provide you with options of regularising your stay

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