OFFICIALS say white collar illegal immigrants are as likely to be targets of a new immigration crackdown as unskilled workers. Governor Chris Patten announced yesterday the doubling of the Immigration Department's illegal immigrant taskforce after concerns about rising unemployment. He said the Government would seek greater penalities for illegals and workers breaching visa conditions. The department said the taskforce would be as vigilant in detecting illegal Western workers as mainland illegals. 'We don't target particular nationalities or race,' a spokesman said. 'Any person who breaches the Immigration Ordinance will be a target. We won't discriminate against any group of persons.' Visitors or workers who overstay their visas, and those who assist them, face maximum penalties of a $5,000 fine and two years in prison, as well as subsequent deportation, under the Immigration Ordinance. Employers face a maximum three-year jail term and a $250,000 fine for employing illegal workers. Secretary for Manpower and Education Michael Leung Man-kin said the taskforce would be made up of 92 officers. 'The taskforce will step up large-scale investigations and will conduct raids on work places suspected of employing illegal workers,' he said. Mr Leung said illegal workers often gained employment through their contacts with the job 'black market' and with people who were already overstaying in Hong Kong. The taskforce was established in June last year to assist with the work of the investigations sub-division.