Britain moots spreading awareness to curb illegal migration

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Chandigarh, Mar 28 (UNI) Expressing concern over the increasing illegal migration in United Kingdom, British Deputy High Commissioner Creon Butler today stressed upon the need to make the potential migrants aware of the pitfalls of illegal migration, so that they can make more informed decisions about their future.

Mr Butler who is here to attend a seminar, organised by the British High Commission to raise awarness about the perils of illigal migration, said, "There is a need to highlight the exploitation that underpins illigal migration and the myths that propel it." "Illegal working hurts good business, undercuts legal workers and creates illegal profits. It also puts illegal workers themselves at great risk. By working together with employers, we can level the playing field and tackle the exploitation of vulnerable migrants," he said, adding that "If people will get high level of skill, it will open the route towards legal migration." "The seminar, which is being organised here second time by the British High Commission, comes at a time when the UK Government is making major changes to the UK's immigration system, including the launch of the Points-Based System for managing work and study in the UK, as well as increasing enforcement activity to tackle illegal migration, " he said.

Under the Points-Based System, which is being introduced in phases, applicants earn points for their skills and the potential they show for economic success, and must show competence in English language and the ability to support themselves and their dependants.

This will enable potential migrants to assess their likelihood of making a successful application and would help to reduce the number of failed applications.

"The Points-Based System has been launched to ensure that only those with the right skills or the right contribution will be able to come to the United Kingdom to work and study," Mr Butler said, adding that "This system enables us to control migration more effectively, tackle abuse and identify the most talented workers." ''Over the past year we have widened our enforcement operations to focus on illegal workers and foreign national prisoners. We successfully deported more than 4,000 foreign national prisoners in 2007," he said.

He said that the UK government had also decided to impose 10-year ban on the those applicants whose documents were found forged.

The UK Government has also introduced biometric travel documents, which will contain the holders details on a tamper proof biometric chip, besides under the national identity scheme identity cards would be issued to foreign nationals in 2008 and British citizens in 2009, he said.

The scheme will begin in November this year with introduction of identity cards for non-EEA foreign nationals; initially starting with categories most at risk of abuse, which include foreign nationals seeking to enter or remain in the UK as a student or on a marriage visa.

Within three years, all foreign nationals applying for leave to enter or remain in the UK would be required to have a card.


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