Update: Home Office defends Ilford immigration swoop described as ‘racial profiling’
10:29 04 June 2014
The Home Office has defended its Ilford immigration swoop yesterday which saw six Indian men arrested but was described as “racial profiling” by a charity chief.
Chief executive of Ramfel (The Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London) Rita Chadha claimed the arrests of men on the corner of Francis Road and High Road were made without prior evidence.
Six men aged 30-50 were arrested for immigration offences in the 8am sting that was part of Operation Centurion.
As officers searched one of the men’s addresses in Kent View Gardens, they arrested a 28-year-old woman for overstaying her visa.
Ms Chadha said: “They have been very heavy handed and have approached people randomly - it’s racial profiling.”
It is believed that the immigration officers were targeting people who wait on the street to be collected in vans to work illegally as seen in previous operations.
The illegal workers are driven to work on sites all over the country and are sometimes paid as little as £1 per hour.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The Home Office does not engage in racial profiling and any suggestion to this effect is both abhorrent and completely without foundation. Our enforcement activity, conducted in conjunction with other government agencies, is intelligence-led and targets sectors of the economy where illegal working is suspected.
“We have worked carefully with employers who share the public’s concerns about illegal working.”
See the Recorder out tomorrow for the full story.