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In a new briefing paper published by the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, Dr Ana Aliverti, from the Centre for Criminology, examines trends in legislation and criminal and civil enforcement of immigration offences in the UK. The briefing deals specifically with violations of the laws governing the UK system of immigration control and with enforcement of those laws in criminal and civil courts. It does not discuss data on crimes committed by migrants that do not involve the immigration system itself, such as thefts committed by migrants.

Key Points

  • Since 1999, British immigration law has added 84 new types of immigration offences, compared with only 70 that were introduced between 1905 and 1998.
  • Prosecutions and convictions of immigration offenders increased in both magistrates and crown courts between 2000 and 2005, but decreased in magistrate courts while increasing in crown courts from 2005 to 2011.
  • The majority of enforcement action has been undertaken through civil penalties and removals rather than criminal prosecution.
  • Employer fines have increased in number and value since the introduction of a new set of civil penalties in 2008.

Read the rest of the briefing here. Other examples of Ana's research in this area can be found here.