The Home Office has been urged to review the way in which immigration officers conduct spot checks after data suggested that they were using racial profiling and stopping Britons.
The Bristol Cable obtained some data about the number of British citizens subjected to immigration spot checks and these were analysed by the Bureau. The figures show that there were more than 19,000 British citizens, out of a total of 102,552 people that were checked by immigration officers.
Human rights lawyers said that this high proportion of British citizens suggests that “the checks are led by racial profiling”.
Labour MP Stella Creasy called upon the government to review its practices. She had previously raised the issue of raids in her own constituency.
Stella added that “the blanket targeting of communities like mine is neither intelligent nor effective”.
The Home Office has always insisted that immigration raids are led by intelligence and not by ethnicity.
However, the statistics covering January 2012 to January 2017, showed that nearly one in five of those questioned are British citizens.
This has led human rights lawyers to conclude that many immigration checks are a result of racial profiling.
The data covers 11 of the largest cities in England, Wales and Scotland. It records the nationalities of people stopped by immigration officers in those cities.
More than 8,002 British citizens were stopped by immigration officers. Nearly one in three of those stopped in Sheffield and Glasgow were British citizens.
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