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Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

Section 28: Deception

106.The White Paper announced the Government’s intention to extend and strengthen the existing criminal offences directed at those who obtain or seek to obtain leave to enter or remain by deception with the particular aim of dealing with failed asylum seekers whose claims have involved blatant deceit. Section 28 replaces and extends the current deception offence set out in section 24(1)(aa) of the 1971 Act (as inserted by section 4 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996). The offence provided for in new section 24A additionally encompasses securing or seeking to secure the avoidance, postponement or revocation of enforcement action by means which include deception. A claim for asylum is technically a claim made by the person that it would be contrary to the Refugee Convention for him to be removed from, or required to leave, the United Kingdom. Amending the existing offence in this way will ensure that it may also apply to those who seek to remain in this country on the basis of an unfounded asylum claim that involves the use of deception.

107.The present deception offence is punishable on summary conviction with a fine of not more than level 5 or with imprisonment for not more than six months, or with both (section 24(1) of the 1971 Act). Subsection (3) of new section 24A increases the maximum penalty for the extended offence which on conviction on indictment will be two years’ imprisonment or a fine, or both.

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