Working Illegally


Working Illegally

Screening of “Working Illegally” followed by open discussion with the filmmakers.

Documentary film: Ewen MacArthur and Lou Macnamara
Research: Phil Miller


Last year the UK Home Office detained approximately 30,000 people across a network of 13 detention centres. People are incarcerated in these centres for immigration reasons without trial or charge. Many are asylum seekers and other migrants who have committed no crime. They are detained for an indefinite period.

Undocumented migrants are not allowed to work in the UK while their right to stay in the country is being processed. However, in detention they work for £1 per hour, saving the private security companies contracted to run detention centres vast amounts of money.

The new documentary from Standoff Films, Working Illegally, looks behind politicians’ rhetoric, the closed walls and barbed wire of UK border enforcement, to expose the reality of immigration detention, raising pressing questions concerning its nature and purpose. Told primarily through detainees’ testimonies, based on original research by Corporate Watch, this film offers critical insight into the labour that maintains the UK detention estate, as well as a general introduction to the immigration detention system.