Cameron announces new measures to reduce net migration by seizing workers’ wages

26 May 2015

David Cameron has introduced a new immigration bill which was included in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday. The bill proposes a new criminal offence of illegal working and states that wages paid to ‘illegal migrants’ will be ‘seized as proceeds of crime.’

The main benefits of the bill were described as being to ‘root out illegal immigrants’, and ‘boost removals and deportations’. Theresa May has stated that the bill is particularly aimed at legal migrants who have overstayed.

Cameron stated that: ‘Uncontrolled immigration can damage our labour market and push down wages. It means too many people entering the UK legally but staying illegally. The British people want these things sorted.

‘That means … dealing with those who shouldn’t be here by rooting out illegal immigrants and bolstering deportations. Reforming our immigration and labour market rules so we reduce the demand for skilled migrant labour and crack down on the exploitation of unskilled workers. That starts with making Britain a less attractive place to come and work illegally.’

Alan Travis, Home affairs editor of the Guardian, describes the measures as ‘absurd’, stating that many skilled people are coming to work in specific jobs and are ‘driving the very growth that is attracting them to Britain in the first place.’

Further measures have been introduced to force banks and landlords to check customers and tenants’ immigration statuses. Inside Housing reports that this has raised concerns amongst charities who fear the policy could increase homelessness amongst migrants.