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Anger over UK Home Office's 'immigration offenders' tweets

The UK Home Office kept Twitter up to date as it arrested suspected illegal immigrants yesterday.

A suspected visa overstayer is arrested at a nail bar in Swansea, Wales
A suspected visa overstayer is arrested at a nail bar in Swansea, Wales
Image: UK Home Office via Twitter

THE UK HOME Office, the ministry charged with justice, policing and border control, has attracted criticism over tweets that detailed the arrests of suspected illegal immigrants.

Coming just  weeks after a controversial mobile billboard told illegal immigrants “go home or face arrest”, the tweets kept a running count of those arrested in connection with the crackdown, using the hashtag #immigrationoffenders.

By the end of the tweeting, Home Office enforcement teams  had arrested 139 people, including one person suspected of overstaying his visa, whose arrest was captured on camera by a Home Office employee and subsequently posted to Twitter.

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Independent columnist Owen Jones called the moves a “blatant taxpayer-funded Tory attempt to exploit fears for electoral gain”, adding that it was an attempt to “divide and rule”.

A Home Office spokesman defended the tactics, however saying that the operations were routine.

“We make no apology for enforcing our immigration laws and our officers carry out hundreds of operations like this every year around London.”

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