VEGA News Item

Halal Butchers Found Guilty of Employing Illegal Workers - 04/11/2010

Heavy Fines and Deportations Follow in London

1. Damian Green, an Immigration Minister, commented: "The Government has tasked the UK Border Agency with carrying out an intensive period of enforcement activity over the summer. We are determined to make it harder than ever for illegal immigrants to come to the U.K. Illegal immigration puts pressure on public services, local communities and legitimate businesses at a time when this country cannot afford it." We point out that an employer or hirer of labour in whatever business or trade should ensure that foreign workers have duly accredited papers before engaging them. Unpleasant and offensive trades and jobs are still so unpopular for British-born workers who prefer to register as unemployed, so immigrants may be tempted to take on such work, at least seasonally and temporarily; accordingly, some employers object to the loss of a potential workforce, many of whom are reliable and industrious, and call for an amnesty on people now sought for essential work here but poorly recognized for their contribution t
o essential work that native Britons will not undertake. A thoughtful attitude might be to involve all agencies to consider the need for such loathsome work for which alternatives calling for greater skill and technical capabilities could be developed.

2. A dozen illegal workers were arrested at a series of halal butchers in south London in August 2010. J and J Halal Butchers, Fresh for You, Islamabad and Zenith Halal Butchers were all raided by the U.K. Border Agency on 16/08/2010. The shop owners face fines of £10,000 per worker, with 9 men set to be deported following bail and a further 3 remaining in prison.

3. The Border Agency, working with the Metropolitan Police, checked the immigration status of staff at the four butchers' shops, and then brought the men, 11 Pakistani and one Afghan national, to Sutton Police Station for questioning. Frances Beasley, leader of the Border Agency's Croydon Local Immigration Team, said "any employer who takes on a foreign national without permission to work in the U.K. is undermining law-abiding businesses and faces a big fine. This successful operation shows that our officers will find immigration offenders, wherever they are in Croydon."


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