Clegg targets visa 'overstayers'

Nick Clegg has called for a bail-like system of security bonds to tackle visa abuse today. He will say that bonds would be paid as a cash guarantee from visa applicants who come in from high-risk countries.

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Bryant: Security bonds system potentially unfair

Shadow Immigration Minister Chris Bryant Credit: PA/PA Wire

Shadow Immigration Minister Chris Bryant has warned that Nick Clegg's proposal to charge some visitors to the UK a security bond to ensure they leave again is potentially unfair.

He said it could discriminate against people who genuinely want to visit for a short period but are too poor to pay the deposit, while "unscrupulous people" who can afford it may be willing to "fork out their one or two thousand pounds" in order to circumvent the system.

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Clegg: Penalties on 'unscrupulous' employers to increase

Nick Clegg has said that the coalition will increase the penalties on employers who knowingly employ illegal immigrants:

I can confirm today that the coalition will increase the cash penalties for unscrupulous employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants because theyre cheaper.

Currently, the maximum fine is £10,000 per illegal worker. I've asked the Home Secretary to look into the right amount, but personally Id like to see it doubled ...

– deputy prime minister nick clegg

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Clegg: UK cannot succeed by 'pulling up the drawbridge'

Nick Clegg has said that Britain's economic recovery is dependent on immigrants:

The majority of people who come here work hard and make a contribution. Many have served - and still serve - in our armed forces.

And if every member of an immigrant community suddenly downed tools, countless businesses and services would suffer.

The NHS would fall over. And in a globalised economy, where talent is as mobile as capital, no nation can succeed by pulling up the drawbridge.

– deputy prime minister nick clegg

Nick Clegg: Coalition to correct 'mistakes' left by Labour

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Credit: Matt Dunham/PA Wire

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has just started a major speech on immigration, in which he will outline how the coalition plans to correct the "mistakes" of the previous Labour government.

He also echoed Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper's warning about avoiding "an arms race of rhetoric on immigration".

Key points from Nick Clegg's immigration speech

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will make a speech today outlining an immigration system that "embodies this nation's instincts and its values". In it, he is expected to:

  • Claim to be correcting the mistakes left by Labour government
  • Introduce a pilot scheme for security bonds - deposits that can be claimed back when visitors from "high-risk" countries leave
  • Promise larger cash fines for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants
  • Call for a crackdown on human trafficking by criminal gangs
  • Defend the Coalition decision to exclude students from immigration cap
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