Immigration is nearly always on the news, especially with recent events in Syria and Europe. Many people are divided on how to best tackle this with governments putting back up plans and assistance in place to help people fleeing wars. However the illegal immigrants that enter the UK and are caught driving could be jailed under new laws announced today.
Deemed by some as unfair on a human rights basis, many will argue that immigration comes from people trying to improve their living conditions or flee danger in their home countries. However, an illegal immigrant is unlikely to have a full UK driving license, nor will they likely be covered by insurance making them a potential danger to other road users. In a bid to reduce this danger, there are plans for a new offence of driving while unlawfully in the UK to be created. Those who are found to be in breach of this could face a six month jail sentence. They could also be given an unlimited fine along with having their vehicle seized by the police and other authorities.
How will all this be put in place? After all the exact number of illegal immigrants living in the UK is not currently known. So far immigration enforcement officers will now have the power to search people and properties, they can also seize driving licences of suspected illegal immigrants as and when.
These new laws are all part of the government’s crackdown on illegal immigration through the new Immigration Bill. This has been newly published by the Home Office and contains a variety of measures intended to bring down the number of attractions drawing illegal immigrants to the UK every year.
Along with having to face jail time of six months or longer, these immigrants may also have their wages seized if they are found to be working.
Minister for immigration, James Brokenshire said of the changes: “The message is loud and clear – if you are here illegally, you shouldn’t be entitled to receive the everyday benefits and services available to hard-working UK families and people who have come to this country legitimately to contribute. Whether it is working, renting a flat, having a bank account or driving a car, the new Immigration Bill will help us to take tougher action than ever before on those who flout the law.”
There has been mixed feeling towards the way that western Europe is dealing with the refugee crisis as well as those trying to get into the UK from Calais. These new changes will undoubtedly stir up controversy in the coming weeks.
However, government statistics have found that net migration is at record levels. This is a blow to Prime Minister David Cameron’s aim to bring down the amount to five figures.
Alongside the new legislation to arrest illegal immigrants driving, there have been a number of other measures already outlined by the Government. These include closing late-night takeaways and off-licences if they are caught employing workers with no legal right to be in the country. Forcing bank to check current accounts against migrant databases, and possible jail sentences for landlords who fail to remove illegal immigrants.
What do you think about these latest measures from the government? Are they fair to people trying to find a better way of life? Could there be a more humane way to reprimand these people? On the other hand will they root out the trouble makers of society? Have your say and join the debate at Want Driving Lessons on Facebook and Twitter!