Mark Field, MP for the Cities of London & Westminster, attended an emergency contingency meeting in Chinatown on Friday in response to Thursday’s high profile Border & Immigration Agency (BIA) raids on the area.
Mark met with representatives of the London Chinatown Chinese Association and strongly condemned the BIA’s conduct in carrying out the raid accompanied by a BBC news crew. “The subsequent BBC report made unfounded allegations linking the raid to human trafficking, exploitation and criminal gangs,” said Mark.
Mark said, “I support all attempts to establish effective immigration control in the UK and believe that we must work together to ensure that illegal practices such as trafficking are eliminated. But there is little need for the use of such sensationalist methods. Some of those arrested on Thursday have already been released because it has subsequently been found that they are entitled to live and work in the UK after all. The raids represented a criminalisation of both Chinese residents and genuine refugees who work hard and contribute to such a vibrant area of our city.”
“I believe that the London Chinatown Association has worked tirelessly to promote Chinatown as an important part of our multicultural, world class city and has worked closely with the local authorities and other agencies to build good community relations. However the result of such high profile action by the BIA created alarm amongst the local Chinese residents and such distorted reporting, which I deplore, has harmed the previously good relations that existed between the Chinatown community and the authorities.”