Chinatown shutdown over ‘racist raids’

The ‘Evening Standard’ reports;

“Chinatown business leaders have demanded talks with the Home Office, claiming they are being unfairly targeted by immigration officers.

Almost every Chinese restaurant and shop in Soho closed for two hours on Tuesday afternoon in protest against raids targeting illegal workers by border control officers.

Staff in the neighbourhood held a demonstration and called for an end to “racist raids”.

The protest came in response to 13 raids carried out over the summer. Lawrence Cheng, secretary general of the London Chinatown Chinese Association, which organised the protest, said he could not rule out a similar shutdown if their concerns are not addressed.

Mr Cheng said: “Shutting down costs a lot of money but feeling among businesses here is very strong. Everybody should make sure they are employing workers legally, but we feel our voices aren’t being heard.”

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said talks are due to be held with Chinatown business leaders next month, and that the recent raids were “intelligence-led”.

She said there had been several arrests for immigration offences, without revealing exact figures”

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