A brief comment on Byron burger chain staff arrested in immigration raids:
· The government has made it more difficult for migrants to work illegally in UK.
Migrants must show prove of lawful residency for work, renting property from a private landlord, opening a bank account or acquiring a drivers licence. The aim of these measures is to make every day life more difficult for migrants in the UK unlawfully.
· Exposing illegal workers is how most migrants unlawfully in the UK are discovered.
Migrants in the UK unlawfully are not mostly discovered at the border, but within the country -- usually after a tourist or work visa has expired.
· Key industry is food and takeaways for discovering illegal working.
The government has been increasing its searches of businesses where illegal working has been a problem historically given limited resources for such work.
· But unclear how government’s checks led up today as Byron Burgers had already done satisfactory checks.
Byron Burgers had done the proper checks - and nothing wrong despite some of its employees submitting false documents. This is a real challenge for the Home Office - it has effectively devolved immigration enforcement to employers, private landlords, banks and universities - but often without the full means available to the Home Office to uncover false papers. In the end, "intelligence" perhaps a tip off from the community brought about this result rather than any of the government's recent measures to tackle illegal working.
Thom Brooks, Professor of Law and Government & Head of Durham Law School at Durham University, is available for comment on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0191 3344 365.