Government to trawl through 70million private bank accounts to hunt down illegal immigrants

Millions of bank and building society accounts will be subjected to checks to ensure services are not being provided to illegal migrants, it is reported.

The checks form part of a three-pronged attack announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd at the Conservative party conference last year, which also included actions against landlords and employers.

Financial institutions will be tasked with checking the details of account holders against a list of illegal migrants who are liable for removal or deportation

Satbir Singh, the chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, told the paper: “The government’s own record shows that it cannot be trusted even to implement this system properly.

“Immigration status is very complex, and the Home Office consistently gives out incorrect information and guidance.

“Migrants and ethnic minorities with every right to be here will be affected by the imposition of these new checks.”

Announcing the plans last year, Ms Rudd said: “Landlords that knowingly rent out property to people who have no right to be here will be committing a criminal offence. They could go to prison.

“Furthermore, from December, immigration checks will be a mandatory requirement for those wanting to get a licence to drive a taxi

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are developing an immigration system which is fair to people who are here legally, but firm with those who break the rules. Everyone in society can play their part in tackling illegal migration.

“As approved by Parliament in December 2016, from January banks and building societies will be required to carry out regular checks on the immigration status of all current account holders against the details of known illegal migrants to establish whether their customers are known to be in the UK unlawfully.

“This is part of our ongoing work to tackle illegal migration. People who are here legally will be unaffected.”

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