London anti-racism campaigner Suresh Grover says he was 'horrified' to receive a text from the UK Border Agency telling him he had to leave the UK. Over 100 complaints have been made after texts were wrongly sent to people who are in the UK legally
London based anti-racism campaigner Suresh Grover was outraged to receive a text from the UK Border Agency telling him he had no right to remain in the country, despite having a British passport and having been here since 1966.
His case follows a spate of similar complaints - as Ronke Phillips reports.
The Home Office has released a statement in defense of a text message campaign where a number of people incorrectly received messages telling them they had no right to remain in the UK.
"We are taking proactive steps to contact individuals who records show have no valid right to be in the UK, some of which date back to December 2008. We believe it is right to enforce the immigration rules.
"Out of thousands of people contacted by Capita, a small number have been found to have the right to be in the UK or an outstanding application. Anyone contacted in error has been asked to get in touch with Capita to update their records.”
More than 100 people have complained to the Home Office after they were wrongly sent text messages accusing them of being illegal immigrants and telling them "to leave the UK", The Independent reported.
A Freedom of Information request submitted by anti-racism campaigner Suresh Grover - who also received the message - shows 39,100 individuals have been contacted in this way.
Of those, 103 have complained to the Home Office and 95 complained to Capita, the private contractor that issued the texts.
An anti-racism campaigner said he was "absolutely shocked and quite horrified" to receive a text message from the Home Office warning him he "may not have leave to remain in the UK."
Suresh Grover, founder of The Monitoring Group, told The Independent, "I thought it wasn't meant for me. I came here with my parents in 1966, I was born in East Africa and have always had a British passport."
Mr Grover, who called the number on the text and spoke to someone at private contractor Capita, said: "The more I talked to the woman the angrier I got. She was asking for more personal information about me and was not telling me where she got my number.
"I think it's outrageous sending people random texts without knowing who they are sending them to ... it's horrific."