Clause 20 - Search of premises in connection with imposition of civil penalty

Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 3rd November 2015.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Solicitor-General

Clause 20 provides a power for immigration officers to search premises for documents that might help in determining whether a civil penalty should be imposed on an employer or landlord. This power may only be exercised where immigration officers are already lawfully on the premises. Immigration officers already have powers to search for evidence of the offence of employing illegal workers and will have them for the new offence of leasing premises to a disqualified person. However, it is often more appropriate, as with my previous remarks on clause 19, to impose a civil penalty rather than pursue a prosecution. Therefore, we believe it is fitting for immigration officers to have specific administrative search powers when they are exercising powers for a non-criminal purpose. For that reason I beg to move that clause 20 stand part of the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 20 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.