Showing no prejudice

I REFER to Mr Richard Y. L. Wong's letter headlined, ''Put a stop to influx of Western IIs'' (South China Morning Post, June 26).

I would like to assure your reader that immigration officers do not discriminate against anyone, but discharge our duties fairly, without prejudice to nationality or ethnic origin.

Our law enforcement actions are targeted against all immigration offenders and it is totally untrue to say that preferential treatment is given to a certain group or category of people.

The Immigration Department takes a serious view of any breaches of the Immigration Ordinance and strenuous efforts, as far as our resources permit, are committed to the detection, investigation and prosecution of offenders.

Under the laws of Hongkong, a visitor who takes up employment without permission from the Director of Immigration, is committing an offence and is liable to prosecution.

The maximum penalty is a fine of HK$5,000 and imprisonment for two years.

We also wish to remind employers that they should carefully check the proof of identity of persons seeking employment.

It is an offence to be the employer of a person who is not lawfully employable and the maximum sentence is a fine of $250,000 and three years' imprisonment.

Reports of immigration offences can be made through our investigation hotline 824 1551.

S. K. LEE for Director of Immigration