Immigration battle in Britain

Stephen Beard Jul 26, 2006
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Immigration battle in Britain

Stephen Beard Jul 26, 2006
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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: On Capitol Hill today lawmakers are looking at new immigration laws, how they affect American workers. Meanwhile in Britain, businesses are upset about a new plan to fight illegal immigration. Pressure to reform the country’s chaotic immigration service has led the government to create a pretty radical plan. From London, Stephen Beard has the details.


STEPHEN BEARD: Under the plan, companies will be put in the firing line. If they employ illegal immigrants, the bosses will be heavily fined. Some of their assets could be seized and they could be disqualified from serving on a board of directors.

Business leaders have denounced the measure. They claim the government has lost control of Britain’s borders, allowing an estimated one million illegal immigrants to settle here.

John Cridland of the Confederation of British Industry, says business shouldn’t carry the can.

JOHN CRIDLAND: There are so many forged documents around that lots of employers could find themselves accidentally caught up in this without ever intending to be. Let’s ask government to sort out their own problems before they pass the responsibility on to business.

He points out that the very government department responsible for enforcing immigration rules was itself found to be employing illegal immigrants as cleaners.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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