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Asian restaurants suffer 'aggressive' immigration visits

Heavy-handed tactics include handcuffing staff and slamming doors in sight of customers

Asian restaurants are being subjected to aggressive and antagonistic immigration enforcement visits that are sometimes not based on substantive grounds, an MP said yesterday.

Labour MP for Llanelli Nia Griffith described the “disgraceful” visits as an “embarrassment” that do irreparable damage to successful businesses.

She acknowledged that Asian restaurant owners have said “terrorist-type” enforcement visits have stopped, but revealed ongoing heavy-handed tactics such as visiting at peak times, handcuffing staff and causing distress to customers.

Ms Griffith said Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, Sri Lankan, Thai, Vietnamese, Pakistani and Japanese restaurants all had similar experiences and called for better dialogue between immigration enforcement officers and the Asian catering community.

She added: “Times are tough, so to have immigration officers arriving at 7 o’clock on a Friday evening to cause distress among the customers, to slam the doors shut, to handcuff chefs before they can even turn off the cookers is simply not acceptable.”

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