United Kingdom home office has launched a new series of mobile advertisements as a warning to illegal immigrants in the country. The signs advise the ‘target audience’ to go home or face the consequences. While the UK government thinks it is a brilliant plan, there are many who think that the idea of the ads is absurd and discriminatory.
The ads are part of a Home Office pilot scheme to help reduce illegal immigration in Britain, vans with billboards carrying the slogan “Go home or face arrest” will be driven around different areas in London. The same warning will also be circulated through leaflets, posters and messages in local newspapers.
The message in full reads: “In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest.” A hotline number has also been provided where illegal immigrants may receive help and advice with travel documents and get solutions to their problems.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper dismissed suggestions that the "go home" message could prove racially divisive or could cause ethnic discomfort in the UK. He said to BBC in an interview, "This is about people who are here illegally, the messaging on the advertising is very clear.”
But not everyone is convinced that the ads are just about that. A UK based NGO, Migrants' Rights Network working and campaigning in support of migrants in the country has called the program as yet another anti-foreigner stunt saying that it will ‘stir up tension, fear and xenophobia.’
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage told BBC, “I think the actual tone of the billboards, it really is Big Brother, nasty, it's unpleasant. I don't think using messaging like this makes any difference, what would make a difference is enforcing our borders properly.”
Many people are also of the opinion that the initiative is downright racist and should not be continued at all.
Ads on vans 'go home or face arrest' are being driven around London 2 try & victimise/intimidate immigrants. Racist govt trying 2 divide— Sean Rillo Raczka (@seanrr1982) July 23, 2013
Not impressed with these Home Office illegal immigrant 'Go home or face arrest' signs targeted at predominantly Asian boroughs. Racist much?— Suswati Basu (@suswatibasu) July 23, 2013