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  1. Illegal immigrants DO want to leave Britain, Sikh community leader insists as row over poster campaign continues Gurmel Singh-Kandola said many illegal arrivals from India were stuck here He said they were unable to work and wanted Home Office help to go back His remarks are in contrast to fury provoked by poster campaign The posters stated: In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest. By JACK DOYLE PUBLISHED: 23:18 GMT, 9 August 2013 | UPDATED: 23:18 GMT, 9 August 2013 In talks: Illegal immigrants living in 'beds in sheds' are desperate to leave Britain and return home, Gurmel Singh-Kandola, secretary-general of the Sikh Council, has said Illegal immigrants living in beds in sheds are desperate to leave Britain and return home, an ethnic minority leader says. Gurmel Singh-Kandola, secretary-general of the Sikh Council, said many arrivals from India who had entered the country unlawfully were stuck here, unable to work, and wanted help from the Home Office to go back. His support for a voluntary returns process echoes Home Office efforts to persuade some of the estimated one million illegal immigrants in Britain to leave of their own accord. His organisation is now in talks with the department over how migrants with no right to remain might contact officials for help to return voluntarily. His remarks are in stark contrast to the fury provoked by the poster campaign among human rights advocates, refugee groups and left-wing politicians. The posters were mounted on vans driven around parts of London, and stating: In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest. A text number was provided for advice and help with travel documents. An investigation into whether they were offensive and irresponsible was launched yesterday by the Advertising Standards Authority. The watchdog said it had received 60 complaints about the posters including that they were reminiscent of slogans used by racist groups to attack immigrants in the past. Mr Singh-Kandola believes the message behind the posters could have been delivered more softly. If it said something like, If you want to go home contact this number or assistance is available to return home I think it would have been the same message but delivered more softly, he said. Many from the Punjab and Delhi were stuck here, impoverished and unable to work, he said. Controversial: This poster campaign caused fury among human rights advocates, refugee groups and left-wing politicians Their plight is well known; they are sleeping very rough under bridges and in multiple occupancies, sometimes in sheds in the back of peoples gardens. 'We have been quite concerned about the abject poverty in which they are living. Many of them have been trafficked by unscrupulous agents who take a lot of money from them. Many illegal immigrants destroyed their passport once they arrived in the country, Mr Singh-Kandola said, making it difficult for them to go home even if they wanted to. It could take six or seven months to get replacement documents papers from the Indian consulate, he said. The Home Office could help them obtain a new passport quickly and buy them a flight home. Our discussions have been for those who want to go back home to facilitate that process in a humane and generous way. He said illegal immigrants were victims of hype which led them to believe they could live and work in Britain once they arrived. In fact they are stuck. They want to go home on a voluntary basis and what we need is processes to facilitate that. Raid: An Uzbekistani man who is said to have overstayed his visa was detained by UK Border Agency officers in a raid on a busy central London restaurant on Thursday Officials said the £10,000 cost of the poster campaign would pay for itself if just one migrant returned home because of the cost of enforced removals. Yesterday, Eric Pickles became the first senior Tory to raise doubts about the use of the vans, and said they should be rolled-out nationwide only if it could be proved they work. The Communities Secretary said: I will be looking at that evidence. I need to see some very persuasive evidence that this should be passed out nationally. If something like this has to happen it needs to be evidence-based. The Communities Secretary is cracking down on traveller sites which trash the countryside, with new guidance to councils on removing illegal camps. Prepared: The UK Border Agency sent three vans to Soho to seize the employee Mr Pickles said £60million was being made available to local authorities to help them act more quickly to shut down unauthorised encampments. He told ITVs Daybreak: We inherited a situation where the number of illegal sites had gone up four-fold and what we expect them to do is obey the law like you and I do. The idea that this is somehow an attack on the traveller community is not true. This is a very good deal for travellers. His department hopes the guidance will give local residents a stronger voice in getting authorities to take action against illegal camps, and prevent incidents like the £7million clear-out of Dale Farm in 2011 after a 10-year wrangle. Source - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2388480/Illegal-immigrants-DO-want-leave-Britain-Sikh-community-leader-insists-row-poster-campaign-continues.html
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