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28 Dec 2016

Rowena Mason, Guardian (UK)

UK: Home Office identifies possible victims of modern slavery while investigating illegal immigration in nail salons

"Home Office targets nail bars over illegal immigration", 28 Dec 2016

Nail bars have been targeted by immigration officers, leading to dozens of arrests as part of an operation last month...that saw 97 people held, 68 businesses warned they could face fines and 14 people identified as potentially at risk of modern slavery. The majority of the people arrested were Vietnamese nationals, but there were also people from Mongolia, Ghana, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and India. The Home Office said those who are potential victims of trafficking will be offered support, while those who have no right to be in the UK will be removed. Goodwill praised the operation for sending a “strong message to those employers who ruthlessly seek to exploit vulnerable people and wilfully abuse our immigration laws. The crackdown has so far focused on the construction, care, cleaning, catering, taxi and car wash industries during 2016, with further activity in similar sectors planned for 2017. As home secretary, Theresa May made it a priority to legislate against modern slavery...stressed over six years that she wants to bring down illegal immigration as well as reduce numbers of people who enter the country legally. Some of those policies have been controversial...