Clause 8 - Offence of illegal working

Part of Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 27th October 2015.

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Photo of Anne McLaughlin Anne McLaughlin Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Civil Liberties) 4:00 pm, 27th October 2015

The argument I was making was not that we should allow people who are not permitted to work in this country to work in this country; my point was that those people are often the most vulnerable. A man who is fit and healthy and in his mid-30s might not appear to be that vulnerable on the face of it, but imprisoning him would not make him less likely to commit the offence—he was left with no choice—nor would it change his situation. My argument was not that it is in some way acceptable for people to lose their jobs because others are working illegally; I was arguing that the imprisonment aspect, the criminalisation, is not necessary and will make no difference.