The Government has vowed to crack down on illegal immigration into the United Kingdom. However, some of the tactics used in the past few weeks have been condemned by both members of the public and political figures for their seemingly low levels of respect and intrusiveness.
There have been accusations of racial profiling by immigration officers as stop checks were carried out on the London Underground. It has been claimed that rather than conducting a random search, people were chosen based on their ethnicity. The equality watchdog has now begun investigating for evidence of unlawful discrimination as there have been suggestions that the majority of people being stopped were of colour. This has been refuted by the immigration minister, who says that the searches were based on information they had collected.
Immigration officers also conducted raids on businesses across the country, resulting in the arrest of 139 illegal workers and employers. Perceived as heavy handed in their approach, an unplanned demonstration took place in one West London town against two enforcers. Meena Patel, a leader of the demonstration, compared latest policies on immigration to Nazi Germany. As politicians work to find a solution to the problem, tension is growing among ethnic communities who feel they are being targeted unjustly.
This controversy comes just days after another Government scheme regarding immigration was chastised by a large number of people, including members of the coalition. Vans carrying large posters travelled around areas of London displaying the slogan In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest. They have been criticised for being too harsh in their message and have been branded as nasty, unpleasant, stupid and offensive by some politicians.
Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, admitted that the adverts were ill-judged and were not the way to convince the public that immigration is being managed in the correct way. He said The effort that should be spent is not on vans drifting around north London but on actually reinstating exit checks which I think were wrongly removed in the past.
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