Illegal Immigrants Have Their Driving Licences Revoked
Yet another crackdown on illegal immigrants has seen over 27,000 people have their driver’s licence revoked since 2014 according to the BBC.
The Home Office gave the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) the powers to revoke licences in July 2014.
This power was part of a host of measures brought in by the government in July 2014 to create a ‘hostile environment’ for immigrants. Other initiatives included:
- Landlord’s being forced to make ‘right to rent’ checks to ensure tenants have a legal right to be in the country
- Introduction of the healthcare surcharge of between £150 and £200 per year to be paid upfront before a visa would be issued
- The ability to remove "harmful" individuals facing deportation before any appeal
Criticism of the revocation of driver’s licence scheme
Many believe that the confiscation of driver’s licences is a waste of time and resources. In 20105, five times more people lost their licence due to medical grounds as opposed to Immigration status.
Chris Hobbs, a former special branch officer in border controls, told the BBC, "How likely is it for that driver to be stopped bearing in mind the number of traffic police has been hugely reduced? There are all sorts of issues around stopping vehicles and asking for details, you have to have a valid reason to do that."
New plans to allow Immigration officials and police officers to search for and seize driver licences
In a new Immigration Act 2016 factsheet, the government has outlined plans to introduce a new criminal offence of driving whilst illegally present in the UK, with powers to detain vehicles used in the commission of the offence. The offence will carry a prison sentence of up to six months and/or a fine.
Immigration officers and police will also be permitted to search people and premises to seize the UK driving licences (whether revoked or not) of illegal migrants to ensure that these licences are removed from circulation.
Even tougher policies
The concern many people and the business community have is that these types of harsh policies may be making the UK unattractive for the high and low-skilled migrants that the country desperately needs to fill labour shortages in a variety of sectors. The agricultural sector has already stated that there has been a dramatic fall in the numbers of migrants coming to the UK for seasonal work, due to the anti-Immigration tone of the British government before and after Brexit.
By making the UK an overtly hostile place for illegal migrants, the government risks alienating the legal ones Britain desperately needs.
OTS Solicitors is regarded as one of the best Immigration law firms in the UK. If you need advice on any Immigration law matters, please phone our office on 0203 959 9123 to talk to one of our dedicated Immigration lawyers.