UK is in the news again. This time, for the wrong reasons, it seems. The Home Office has been carrying out ‘spot checks’ to determine the immigration status of individuals under suspicion. But, caught in this crossfire are British Citizens of a different ethnic origin.
No wonder then, that the Home Office is receiving a barrage of calls from human rights activists. Even advocates and MPs are on it. All of them are accusing the Home Office of just one thing – racial profiling. Ever since the spot checks were introduced, the Home Office has been conducting raids on various people. But a percentage of the people checked are actually British citizens. And it has not mattered whether they obtained their citizenship by birth or by naturalisation. What is different about them though, is their ethnicity, race and / or colour. Criticism has rained heavily on Home Office about using racial profiling instead of intelligence to check these cases.
Home Office in denial
The Home Office defended itself and stated that their officers do not stop and check people at random. Instead, they only stop people when they have reason to believe that the individual could be breaking immigration laws. According to spokespersons, the Home Office can not perform random checks under the current law.
Two Garden Court Chambers, Chris Williams and Nicola Braganza collated this data in seven months. They even had to wrestle the data out of the UK Home Office’s hands after winning a freedom of information spat. They concluded that British citizens who ‘looked like immigrants’ were in the Home Office’s cross hairs too.
Many MPs and human rights lawyers have shamed the Home Office despite its regular denials. They have demanded that the Home Office change this practice immediately and depart from racial profiling as soon as possible. They insist that the Home Office carry out these checks led by intelligence instead.