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illegal Immigration Raids....140 arrested

Post  Panda on Fri 2 Aug - 7:53

Illegal Immigration Raids: 140 Arrested Some 140 people have been held in immigration raids

Last Updated: 7:42AM 02/08/2013

Nearly 140 people have been arrested after a series of raids to tackle people working illegally in the UK.

It comes as the Home Office faces criticism over its tactics, its fine collection success rate, and its data collection accuracy.

Immigration enforcement officers arrested 139 suspected immigration offenders at locations including London, Durham, Manchester, Wales and Somerset. Those who have no right to be in the UK face being thrown out.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: "We are sending a clear message to employers who choose to use illegal labour - we will find you and you will pay a heavy penalty.

"We will not allow the growth of a shadow economy for illegal migrants."

The move is the latest attempt by the Government to crack down on those illegally in the country, following a controversial "go home or face arrest" advertising van campaign and reports of stop-and-check operations near London train stations.

In recent days it also emerged that two-thirds of fines imposed on employers of illegal workers have not been collected in the past five years.

Meanwhile, at the weekend the Public Administration Committee of MPs said UK migration figures are "little better than a best guess".

The Government will introduce the Immigration Bill later this year, which will carry proposals to tackle rogue businesses by increasing the £10,000 amount they can be charged if they are found to be employing illegal workers.

But concerns have been raised about recent anti-immigration operations in London, and Barry Gardiner, the Labour MP for Brent North, has written to Home Secretary Theresa May following reports of spot checks.

The Independent reported that he demanded an investigation into the checks which he said violated "fundamental freedoms".

Sky reporter James Banks said: "It is not just those who have been stopped who think these tactics are out of order, with some witnesses arguing the checks were prompted by race, not intelligence."

Phil O'Shea, who witnessed one of the operations earlier this week in north London, told the Kilburn Times: "They appeared to be stopping and questioning every non-white person, many of whom were clearly ordinary Kensal Green residents going to work."

A Home Office spokesman defended the tactics: "We make no apology for enforcing our immigration laws and our officers carry out hundreds of operations like this every year around London.

"Where we find people who are in the UK illegally, we will remove them."

Shadow immigration minister Chris Bryant said: "Intelligence-led operations to remove illegal immigrants are to be welcomed. Racial profiling is not."

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