'Tackling illegal migration is one of the Government’s central priorities' - Rachel Maclean's Westminster Diary - The Redditch Standard

'Tackling illegal migration is one of the Government’s central priorities' - Rachel Maclean's Westminster Diary

Redditch Editorial 17th Sep, 2023   0

OVER the summer you probably saw a number of Government announcements aimed at tackling illegal migration and stopping the boats.

Why? Because tackling illegal migration is one of the Government’s central priorities and it is one of my constituents’ top priorities.

One of those announcements was the tripling of fines for employers and landlords who allow illegal migrants to work for them or rent their properties in the biggest shake up of civil penalties since 2014.

We’re doing this because making it harder for illegal migrants to work and operate in the UK is vital to deterring dangerous small boat crossings.

Unscrupulous landlords and employers who allow illegal working and renting enable the business model of the evil people smugglers to continue.

Another announcement over the summer was a clampdown on crooked lawyers who coach illegal migrants to lie.

The vast majority of lawyers act with professionalism and integrity but, as recent media reports have demonstrated, a small minority have been helping illegal migrants stay in the UK by encouraging them to make false claims.

Just recently, the Solicitors Regulation Authority suspended three legal firms caught offering to submit fake asylum claims for migrants.

To clampdown on these crooked lawyers, the Professional Enablers Taskforce has been set up and is already working with industry bodies and law enforcement to build stronger evidence bases to support prosecutions.

We will root them out and bring them to justice.

Lastly, the UK and Turkey have agreed a new partnership to enhance cooperation on tackling the illegal movement of migrants.

UK and Turkish law enforcement officers will step up joint operations to tackle organised immigration crime and disrupt the supply chain of boat parts and other materials used as part of illegal migration journeys.

The exchange of customs data, information and intelligence, between the UK and Turkish authorities to further support our joint efforts to disrupt the small boats supply chain, will also be increased and sped up.

This enhanced partnership follows recent agreements with countries including Bulgaria and Georgia and strengthened partnerships with France and Albania which have resulted in a 90 per cent drop in Albanian small boat arrivals in the first quarter of 2023, compared to the same period last year.

We will continue to be tough but fair as we deliver on one of my constituents’ top priorities.

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