Cleaner of former UK immigration minister to be deported

24 Jul 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A cleaner working for former UK immigration minister Mark Harper is set to be deported after investigations revealed that she was working without the required UK work permits.

Isabella Acevedo was preparing for her daughter's wedding at the weekend when Border Force police arrested her and took her to an immigration detention centre from where she is being deported to Columbia.

After discovering that Miss Acevedo had been working for him illegally, Mr Harper resigned earlier this year. However, he has since been brought back in to the government cabinet as the minister for the disabled.

Speaking to The Guardian, Miss Acevedo commented on the situation: "I saw Mr Harper on TV. He is still with his rich friends, still earning good money. Me, I have lost everything: my job is gone, my friends are gone, my dignity is gone. In one day my whole life has changed."

She added that she previously thought that she had "ended Mr Harper's life", but now sees it as the opposite.

She reportedly worked for Mr Harper and his wife for seven years over the course of which time she was paid £30 for three and a half hours of cleaning and ironing each week, in addition to a Christmas bonus from the couple.

Miss Acevedo has experienced the force of the UK immigration law in finding herself forced out of the country for failing to arrange the required work permit and papers to undertake legal employment.

However, employers also risk severe consequences for employing workers without undertaking the legally required checks on their immigration status; fines of up to £10,000 per employee can be enforced by the authorities if required.