This week, it has been reported that the UK Border Agency’s (UKBA) tactless immigration raids in the UK have sparked a mass walkout in Chinatown. Business owners in Chinatown are now protesting against the unfair treatment they say they have received by UK immigration authorities. Tuesday’s protest saw business owners, shop workers, chefs and waiters along with their supporters, putting an abrupt stop to the normally busy area of London. This has prompted London Mayor Boris Johnson to pledge to look into the ‘heavy-handed’ immigration raids and has led to him stating publicly that he is ‘pro-immigration’.
UK Immigration Raids: UKBA Accused of “Fishing” For Illegal Immigrants
Reports show that there have been up to 13 immigration raids across the UK in recent months, which have been described by resident workers of Chinatown as the UKBA “fishing” for immigrants. Immigrant workers now believe that this clearly show the UKBA’s lack of sensitivity in dealing with the public or even dealing with difficult issues.
On Tuesday, Chinese workers and their supporters came together on Gerrard Street, where they were blowing whistles and holding banners with slogans which read “Stop racist UKBA raids”. The protest was organised by Lawrence Cheng, the Secretary General of the London Chinatown Chinese Association. Cheng said of the raids:
“Very disruptive, putting owners in a shutdown situation while UKBA officers stay as long as they like,” he said. “We are not trying to justify employing illegal immigrants, but these raids have to happen in the right way – procedures aren’t being followed, people are being pushed around.”
It must be noted that there were no arrests for some of the raids. It is also believed that there was one raid where a restaurant owner was shown a warrant after the raid, only to be told that the warrant was for a different restaurant.
London Mayor Boris Johnson: I am Pro-Immigration
It seems that London Mayor Boris Johnson who has clashed with the government over visa limitations for migrants and has also made headlines for his encouragement of making it easier for Chinese people to visit the UK stated:
“If they’ve been heavy-handed in this instance then certainly we’ll get to the bottom of it and take the necessary action.”
Whilst appearing at Mayor’s Question Time in City Hall he said:
“I’m probably about the only politician I know of who is actually willing to stand up and say that he’s pro-immigration. I believe that when talented people have something to offer a society and a community they should be given the benefit of the doubt,” Mr Johnson added.”
Legal Advice for Illegal Migrants & Business Owners in the UK
Illegal migrants with strong Human Rights arguments ought to take legal advice and regularise their stay in the UK as soon as possible and before it is too late. If you are a UK business and have been affected by the UKBA’s raids, contact us to discuss this further.
Business owners sponsoring migrants from outside the EEA must ensure that they are legally registered to sponsor these migrants and must have a valid Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence.
OISC firms do not have to operate within the strict confines that solicitors have to and this is particularly relevant when clients may be worried about exposing their illegal stay; please note that solicitors regulated by the SRA (not OISC) have to operate with the SRA code of conduct which safeguards the principle of complete legal client confidentiality.
Contact us to discuss your immigration situation and we will assess your case and provide you with options of regularising your stay.