Home Office immigration raids spiked

Details of post-election crackdown on undocumented workers leaked to migrant rights campaigners

Activists across Britain are alerting hundreds of workplaces that appear on a Home Office hit list to prepare for an imminent immigration raid.

‘Operation Centurion’ involves a fortnight of high-profile arrests of undocumented workers, similar to the Go Home Van débâcle in July 2013.

The leaked document refers to raids on car-washes in the East Midlands being “prepped for Centurion fortnight”.

The Home Office may now have to abandon this plan because the majority of workers on the target list are being tipped off, as revealed on Channel 4 News tonight.

The Anti Raids Network has seen 225 items of operational intelligence, in what is possibly the largest Home Office leak in recent years.

The document reveals stereotyping and racial profiling by Immigration Officers behind the raids.

One target is to “locate NGA [Nigerian] immigration offenders working as security guards in Sussex.”

Another involves a “multi agency operation aimed at Vietnamese nail bars in the Manchester area”.

Phone stalls in Northern Ireland “appear to have foreign nationals working on them – some of which don’t speak fantastic English”, according to the ‘intelligence’ reports.

Although the Home Office has denied claims that it conducts ‘fishing’ operations, the document refers to “speculative intel visits” to farms in the North East

The Home Office’s own intelligence even undermines the argument that illegal working is a significant problem.

For instance, the Home Office says it has checked over 900 staff files from betting shops across South London, “and it is conservatively anticipated there will be at least 5 offenders across the sites”.

The rate of illegal working in that case is less than 1% of the workforce.

The Karamsar Gurdwara on Ilford High Street is also listed as a target. The Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London said on twitter that Immigration Officers arrested 6 people on Ilford High Street at 8.30 this morning in “random checks targeting anyone with a turban”.

A spokesperson from the Anti Raids Network said:

“Are Ukip already controlling the UK Border Agency? Questions need to be asked about the timing of this operation just after the elections. This document exposes the cynical and racist agenda behind Home Office immigration raids.”

The Anti Raids Network has been distributing information about workers rights during immigration raid and directly challenging raids.