Good luck card foils illegal immigrant to Britain

Wed Mar 4, 2009 1:16pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A Mexican national who told airport immigration he was visiting Britain to see a friend was swiftly deported after a search unearthed a good luck card in his luggage wishing him well for his "new life in the UK."

UK Border Agency officers at Manchester Airport in northern England routinely stopped the 40-year-old chef after he arrived on a flight from Los Angeles last Friday.

The man told them he was on a short trip to see a friend who was opening a restaurant in the area.

"However, a search of the passenger's baggage revealed a huge collection of Mexican food recipes and a good-luck card from his church wishing him well for his 'new life in the UK,'" the agency said in a statement.

The man later admitted he had intended to work at the restaurant illegally and had planned to bring his family over from America if he liked it.

He was deported the next day.

"We will not tolerate people coming here to work illegally," the agency said. "People wanting to visit the UK must play by the rules. Those who do not are sent back."

(Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi, editing by Paul Casciato)