LC Paper No. LS45/98-99
Paper for the House Committee MeetingObjects of the Bill
of the Legislative Council
on 6 November 1998
Legal Service Division Report on
Immigration (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1998
LegCo Brief Reference
- To extend to APEC Business Travel Card and Travel Pass the existing penal provisions in the principal ordinance relating to false statements, forgery of documents and use and possession of forged documents; and
- penalise the employment on a construction site of persons not lawfully employable.
2. SBCR 4/2091/95(96) issued by the Security Bureau and dated 22 October 1998.
Date of First Reading
3. 4 November 1998.
4. The APEC Business Travel Card and Travel Pass schemes were introduced by the Immigration (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 1997 on 9 December 1997 and came into operation on 27 January 1998. However, no penal provision has been made in connection with the schemes.
5. Documents provided for under the Immigration Ordinance are at present protected under section 42 of the Ordinance. The section makes it an offence to make any false statement or representation in obtaining such documents, forging such documents and using or having in possession any forgery of such documents.
6. The Bill proposes to include both the APEC Business Travel Card and Travel Pass as documents covered by section 42, thus extending the penal provisions to those documents. For this purpose, the definitions for those two documents will also be removed from the relevant subsidiary legislation to the principal ordinance.
7. Section 38A of the Ordinance now penalises the construction site controller for the presence of any illegal immigrant on the site. There is however no control against employment on a construction site of persons not lawfully employable.
8. The Bill proposes to deal with this problem by penalising the construction site controller if a person not lawfully employable (i.e. prohibited by law from taking employment in Hong Kong) is convicted of taking employment on the construction site against that person's condition of stay. The maximum penalty is a fine of $350,000, the same as the penalty for allowing an illegal immigrant to be present on a construction site. A similar defence is also provided, which is the construction site controller has taken all practicable steps to prevent such employment.
9. The Administration has consulted the Fight Crime Committee and Hong Kong Construction Association (paragraph 17 of LegCo Brief).
Consultation with LegCo Panel
10. The Panel on Security was consulted on 3 September 1998.
11. The Bill contains two rather straight forward proposals. Both the legal and drafting aspects are in order.
CHEUNG Ping-Kam, Arthur
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
3 November 1998