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Indian immigrants allege airport harassment

23.06.09

Indian immigrants have complained of harassment at UK airports when they return from trips abroad. The Hindu reports that the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) Forum, a non-profit organisation campaigning for the rights of skilled migrants, has taken up the issue with immigration authorities.

The newspaper cites the case of Dr Sujit Nair, who works for the NHS and was questioned at the Glasgow Airport after returning from a holiday in India. He said: ‘The immigration officer bombarded me with questions. I was also questioned by a police officer, despite having permanent residency in the UK. I felt intimidated and unwelcome.'

The Forum said that similar complaints had come from non-EU immigrants, but a majority were from the Asian people. ‘How did their employer allow them to go on a long holiday?’, ‘Why had they chosen to work in a particular field?’ and ‘Why didn’t they find a job in some other area?’ were some of the ‘irrelevant’ questions the ‘interrogation’ often consisted of. Amit Kapadia, Executive Director of the Forum, said they felt that they were treated like ‘criminals.’

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