Operation Skybreaker is a 5-month plan by the Home Office in parts of Tower Hamlets, Brent, Ealing, Newham and Greenwich to work with businesses and community groups to stop ‘illegal’ immigration. The first part is soft – they are asking businesses if they can come in and check their records, sometimes promising not to arrest people. But do not be fooled by these ‘friendly tactics’ – the second part of Operation Skybreaker will involve carrying out raids in these areas, no doubt helped in this by the information they find in stage one. They will work with HMRC and other agencies on this.
No Co-operation with Immigration Officers
- Legally, you do not have to sign consent forms letting them come in.
- Immigration officers often ask people’s permission to come in because they do not actually have evidence that you are committing an offence, which they need to get a warrant.
- Refusing immigration officers entry to your home or business is not evidence of a crime.
- Letting them in gives them access to information they could use to raid your home or business later on. For example, it could give them information they need to get a warrant.
- Working with immigration officers only gives them more power. The only way to stop these raids is to resist together and show support & solidarity with people being targeted.
During our outreach, we have found that a lot of people have been signing consent forms. However, when we’ve told people that there is no obligation to sign, many said that they were unaware that it was voluntary, while others said “you can’t do anything to stop them – they do whatever they want”. In practice of course, it is very hard to refuse – regardless of whether this is your legal right. Only with strong and persistent collective resistance and non-cooperation do we stand a chance of really fighting back and keeping immigration officers out of our neighbourhoods.
Find out more
We are having a public meeting for people living and working in Tower Hamlets on November 13th, 6-8pm at the Praxis Centre, Pott Street, Bethnal Green, E2 0EF. You are invited to come and find out more about your rights and & discuss what we can do to stop these immigration raids.