Immigration has always been a topic arousing passionate debate. Yet, recently, Home Office tactics for countering irregular immigration have hardened and become increasingly politicised. On 3 July, 2013, a tweet was sent from the official UK Home Office account which read ‘There will be no hiding place for illegal immigrants with the new #ImmigrationBill.’ Attached to this message was a photo of police officers putting a faceless brown-skinned man into the back of a police van. Later that month, adverts reading ‘In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest’ were mounted onto the back of a van and driven around a selection of London boroughs with large migrant heritage populations. This was followed by an intensification of immigration checks, targeting tube stations in poor, mixed urban areas, which according to Doreen Lawrence and eyewitness accounts have involved racial profiling and intimidation. Meanwhile, the Home Office Twitter feed intensified its Orwellian-sounding immigration stance, reporting the arrest of suspected visa over-stayers and naming them as “immigration offenders”. According to John Scott QC, the use of the term ‘immigration offenders’, prejudices legal proceedings as it presumes those arrested are guilty.
‘How the Government is creating a climate of fear for migrants and ethnic minorities’ Emma Jackson and Naaz Rashid for CLASS online