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Home Office: texts are "proactive" and "right"

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.”

– Home Office


  1. National

Campaigner 'horrified' to receive 'go home' text

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."

Anti-racism campaigner Suresh Grover received one of the so-called 'go home' text messages. Credit: Jane Mingay/PA Archive

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."

  1. National

103 complaints to Home Office over 'go home' texts

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.

More than 100 people have complained to the Home Office after these text messages were sent. Credit: Channel 4 News

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.

Hodge: 'UK Border Agency has got to get a grip'

Chair of the Public Accounts Committee Margaret Hodge said on the findings of the report in relation to the points based system in immigration:

"...There's an unresolved tension between the government's desire to attract the best students to the UK both because of their talent and because of the money they bring and the government's desire to be seen as tough on immigration controls and those need to be sorted.

"...What our study found was that the UK Border Agency has got to get a grip and improve its action."