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Call for amnesty for illegal migrants in Brick Lane’s Curry Mile’

PUBLISHED: 15:11 23 April 2009 | UPDATED: 14:18 05 October 2010

COMMUNITY leaders are calling for an amnesty for illegal immigrants including those working in the famous curry mile’ in London’s East End. Delegates from charities, religious organisations and catering groups were among those calling for the amnesty at a meeting at the East London Mosque in Whitechapel

By Else Kvist

COMMUNITY leaders are calling for an amnesty for illegal immigrants including those working in the famous curry mile’ in London’s East End.

Delegates from charities, religious organisations and catering groups were among those calling for the amnesty at a meeting at the East London Mosque in Whitechapel.

They were pledging support for a national rally in Trafalgar Square on May 4, when up to 30,000 people are expected to back a one-off’ amnesty for those who have been in the UK illegally more than four years.

It is believed some 450,000 of the estimated 750,000 illegal immigrants would be eligible.

RESTAURANT WORKERS

Half the restaurant workers along Brick Lane are illegal, the chairman of the Bangladesh British Chamber of Commerce, Shahagir Faruk, told the meeting.

Mr Faruk, who runs the Shahnan Employment and Training Bureau in Brick Lane, said it was difficult to recruit for porters and waiters in the area.

Salvation Army captain Nick Coke pressed for an amnesty he said would help combat illegal people trafficking’ and smash the criminal rackets behind it.

“We might have around 10 to 15 illegal migrants every month who come to us in Stepney for advice,” he said. “Many come from Bangladesh and Africa.”

Campaigners refuted suggestions the amnesty would lead to a flood of immigrants into Britain, insisting that it should go hand-in-hand with tightening immigration border controls.


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