Immigration officers banned from making raids at weekends - to save cash

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Immigration officers have been banned from searching for illegal immigrants at weekends or on bank holidays because of a crippling budget crisis.

Directors at the Border and Immigration Agency are facing a £100million overspend and are desperate to stop overtime payments wherever they can.

But Home Office insiders condemned the edict - revealed in a leaked document - as "ludicrous", warning that enforcement action is effectively being abolished at precisely the times when illegal immigrants are most likely to be caught at home.

Firms which employ illegal workers to fill unpopular weekend shifts are also likely to get away scot free.

All weekend raids will be halted except where staff formally request written permission at least three weeks in advance from senior officials, who have made clear that it is unlikely to be granted.

Weekend staffing levels are also being cut, so if police arrest illegal immigrants outside office hours, immigration officers are increasingly unlikely to be able to attend, and many will be released......Article conts (-)

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