A UK border agent arresting an unknown man.

We must repress the exploitative employers, not the migrants

Blog post by François Crépeau
25 August, 2015

People who work illegally in England and Wales will face up to six months in prison, under proposals to be included in the forthcoming Immigration Bill.

This is exactly the contrary of what needs to be done. Repressing the migrants only drives them further underground, thus increasing their precariousness and the correlative power of smugglers and unscrupulous employers.

What is needed is to reduce considerably the pull factor exercised by underground labour markets which exist in agriculture, construction, care or hospitality, through repressing the employers who exploit the migrants, in order to reduce the demand for undocumented labour.

Migrants are smart: they are coming because there are jobs for them, even if poorly paid, and they wouldn’t come if jobs weren’t available. Repressing abusive employers would go a long way towards reducing the market for underground recruiters and smugglers.

To know more about the forthcoming immigration bill, please read the article ”Immigration Bill: Illegal workers ‘may face six months’ jail’” by the BBC.

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