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Garden Court barristers uncover immigration check “racial profiling”


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Two immigration law practitioners, Chris Williams and Nicola Braganza, made headlines today for their part in an investigation highlighting “racial profiling” in UK immigration checks.

The pair, both Garden Court tenants, worked with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism to analyse Home Office data showing that almost one in five people stopped for an “intelligence-led” check on their immigration status is in fact a British citizen.

“The obvious inference”, Williams and Braganza told the Bureau, “is that those who look like immigrants are targeted”. The story also features in today’s Guardian.

The figures, obtained by The Bristol Cable under the Freedom of Information Act, show that almost 19% of stops by immigration officials in 11 major cities ensnared British citizens – not the most likely group to be in violation of immigration laws.

The Home Office has said in the past that it makes “no apology” for its “very successful” street operations.

The figures, according to the Bureau, “took seven months to obtain, following a freedom of information dispute with the Home Office”. We sympathise.

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