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8 August 2023

The Hostile Environment just got worse.

The Hostile Environment just got worse: the Government has announced a further crackdown on undocumented migrant workers.

As part of the Government’s latest assault on migrants’ rights, they have announced a massive increase in fines and penalties to businesses found to be employing an undocumented migrant worker.  

Initial fines have been increased to £45,000 per worker from £20,000. These will come into effect at the start of 2024. These fines are a huge income stream for the Home Office. In the first quarter of 2023 alone, 346 civil penalties were issued to the value of £6 million. 

The immigration taskforce, which was announced at the beginning of the year, will launch a consultation into stronger measures aimed at deterring businesses from employing workers without permission to work¹. In response, the Shadow Immigration Minister has condemned the policy on the basis it is not tough enough, stating “strengthening penalties must be combined with stronger enforcement action if the Government is serious about tackling the problems.”

From initial research at MRN, we have found that business owners from racialised and minoritised backgrounds are being targeted for immigration raids, and that in many cases, these immigration raids are conducted without appropriate warrants and within the scope of the law.

It is disappointing to see the Government pushing forward with these plans whilst the Opposition calls for even tougher measures. At MRN, we know from our work on the exploitation of migrant workers and immigration enforcement in the workplace that raids are causing widespread problems and destroying communities. We stand opposed to immigration raids and the increasing demonisation of undocumented workers. Borders should not exist in everyday life, including the workplace. 

If you’re interested in how we are challenging the Home Office’s oppressive anti-migrant policies, check out our Hostile Office campaign

¹Fines to rise sharply for illegal housing or employment of asylum seekers in UK