The statute book is crammed with criminal offences relating to borders and immigration control, from entering the UK illegally to renting property to an unauthorised migrant. Most are rarely prosecuted, with an average of 625 prosecutions a year between 2017 and 2019. But many convictions are high-profile, with a steady stream of people being jailed for “assisting unlawful immigration” by piloting small boats across the Channel. The Home Office also announced this week proposals to increase the maximum sentences for the main immigration offences.
So will criminal prosecutions increasingly become a mainstream tool of immigration control? On this episode of the podcast I speak to John Vassiliou from Shepherd and Wedderburn, one of our regular contributors and the author of a new Free Movement training course on the immigration offences.