- 10 updates
Human rights group Liberty has launched an advertisement accusing the Government of unlawfully stirring up tension and division.
The ad-van is on the streets of London today as a response to controversial Home Office billboards advising overstaying migrants to "go home or be deported".
Human rights group Liberty has hit back at the government's scheme to encourage overstaying migrants to "go home" with its own alternative spin on the message.
The charity has sent a van on to the streets of Westminster carrying this billboard:
Last month, Home Office ads carried by vans in six London boroughs told overstaying migrants "Go home, or you'll be picked up and deported".
Anger mounted over the department's tactics amid reports commuters at transport hubs across the capital were targeted for spot checks by border officials purely on ethnic grounds.
A statement from Liberty said the Home Office's messaging had "racist connotations - mirroring National Front slogans from the 1970s".
Illegal immigrants are being encouraged to volunteer to return home, under a new pilot scheme.
Posters will show residents how many arrests have been made, and display a text message so that migrants can contact authorities. But, if they fail to come forward, the softly-softly approach will be backed up by police raids, as Phil Bayles reports:
Paul Wylie, head of Home Office immigration enforcement in London has said they are arresting more and more illegal immigrants every day as part of a new Home Office scheme urging immigrants to voluntarily leave the UK.
The Border Agency ordered squatters to leave their makeshift homes in Hendon last month.
Dozens set up camp on a disused football ground, claiming they had nowhere else to go.
They were offered flights back home to Romania.
Watch the report from Rags Martel:
A pilot scheme that aims to encourage illegal migrants to leave the UK voluntarily has been launched by the Home Office in London today.
The six boroughs affected are:
- Barking & Dagenham
Immigration minister Mark Harper has said that a new scheme in which illegal immigrants can voluntarily come forward, would help to prevent unlawful working and reduce the burden on public services caused by illegal migration. Mr Harper said:
A phone number offering help – including potential free flights and other travel assistance – will be shown on van advertisements, as part of a new scheme targeted at illegal immigrants living in London.
The Home Office has said those who come forward voluntarily will not be detained while they arrange their departure.
The use of the advertising vans, which will be deployed initially to six London boroughs including Ealing, Barnet and Hounslow, forms the latest stage in a renewed Home Office drive against illegal migrants in recent months.
Large billboards and signposts carrying the warning "Go home or face arrest" will be driven around London on the back on advertising vans this week in a new Home Office bid to reduce illegal immigration.
The billboards will also display the number of illegal migrants arrested recently in the relevant part of the capital.
Adverts and leaflets are being distributed in East and West London to encourage illegal immigrants to leave voluntarily under a new government campaign. Immigration officers are targeting specific groups. The ads warn people here illegally risk arrest and deportation.