14:28 GMT +320 October 2019
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    Residents of Chinatown protest in London, UK

    WATCH: Crackdown on Illegal Immigration in London's Chinatown Triggers Protests

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    Hundreds of shop and restaurant owners and workers took to the streets of central London on Tuesday in opposition to the so-called 'fishing raids' for illegal immigrants.

    According to the British Born Chinese UK organization, the closure of businesses and the rally are in "response to the discriminatory conduct of immigration and police officers during and following a 'fishing raid' by immigration officers on a restaurant on Thursday, 5 July 2018."

    Earlier in July, UK immigration officers clashes with protesting crowds, who perceived they were "treated with unreasonable aggression."

    According to the UK Home Office, an officer can enter business premises under a variety of lawful powers including when a warrant is issued, as well as when the permission by an immigration enforcement assistant director is given.

    Residents of Chinatown protest in London, UK
    © Sputnik /
    Residents of Chinatown protest in London, UK

    "There are serious questions about the legality of the fishing raid: we now know the immigration officers left a notice (under Section 179 of the Licensing Act) in the targeted restaurant without explaining what it meant," the Chinese Information and Advice Centre (CIAC) said. 

    Mr. CT Tang OBE, Chair of the London Chinatown Chinese Association has called on members of the community to join the protest on Tuesday to demand justice for Chinatown. 

    Several commentators online disagreed with the purpose and idea behind the protest. 

    Attempts to determine the numbers of illegal immigrants in the UK have placed the figure between 300,000 and more than a million.

    Residents of Chinatown protest in London, UK
    © Sputnik /
    Residents of Chinatown protest in London, UK

    The so-called standoff between the UK Home Office and Chinatown has been going on for years. In 2007, the Home Office reported that unannounced raids — part of the Border and Immigration Agency's (BIA) Operation Zavijava — led to over 30 arrests for illegal working


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