Religious and community organisations in the UK have been paid thousands of pounds by the Home Office to assist immigration enforcement teams in removing people from the UK, in most cases rough sleepers.
There is mounting concern about Home Office tactics to deport migrant rough sleepers from the UK and its use of payments to assist with these removals, with the department facing accusations of racial profiling.
A list obtained by the Manchester-based human rights charity Refugee and Asylum Seeker Participatory Action Research, reveals that 21 Home Office immigration surgeries are embedded in community centres and places of worship across London and in Birmingham, Slough and Manchester. It shows that Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs are being targeted for removal, along with Brazilians, Albanians and Chinese people.
Fizza Qureshi, the co-chief executive officer of the Migrants’ Rights Network, condemned the practice of faith and community organisations assisting the Home Office with removals.
“The extent to which the Home Office is infiltrating our communities by co-opting community and faith organisations is extremely shocking,” she said. “These kinds of practices destroy trust within and between communities. It will also leave many marginalised people wondering who they can turn to and trust in their time of need.”