Chinese now targeted in aggressive immigration clampdown


After the scandal of the aggressive immigration drive that plagued the Caribbean Windrush generation, and the clampdown on Indian restaurant waiters and chefs, it now seems the Home Office are turning their attention to the Chinese community.

For the first time in its long history Chinatown restaurants in London and across the country organised a shut down in protest of the heavy-handed immigration raids on their restaurants.

The London Chinatown Chinese Association, which organised the walkout, said 1,000 restaurants had been in touch to show solidarity.

“The main issues we are fighting are aggressiveness, unprofessionalism of the Home Office,” said Joseph Wu, a spokesperson for the LCCA. “We feel Chinese businesses are being discriminated against and unfairly targeted for immigration raids. We are also worried about the changes to the search system. Now the Home Office can enter without warrants and it is very aggressive and threatening.”

Chinese leaders had sought to cooperate with officials before the brutal raids to build trust with the Home Office, but, days later that trust was trashed by immigration officials. Community leaders believe that officials have been engaged in what they describe as ‘fishing raids’. One member stated that “Not only were staff member at the restaurant treated with unreasonable aggression and handcuffed, a deaf and mute woman who started a peaceful protest by lying on the road was manhandled and nearly run over by an immigration van,”.

Chinese restaurants are further hampered by new immigration rules which state that chefs from non-EU countries who want to work in Britain have to have a minimum salary of £30,000 a year.

The Government wants Chinese chefs to be recruited from the UK, but the LCCA says it takes years to teach someone about Chinese food and there is a skills shortage.

The Chinese community is not renowned for making these large scale protests, therefore, they must feel utterly betrayed, a feeling only exacerbated by the treatment from Home Office officials. One wonders if they have learnt anything from the Windrush scandal that brought misery to thousands of hard working Caribbean people, a disgraceful act of insensitivity that ultimately brought down the then Home Secretary, Amber Rudd.

One thing is for sure, we in the Black community must show solidarity to the Chinese in their hour of need.

Simon Woolley