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Illegal immigrants campaign investigated by ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has launched an investigation into a Government campaign targeting illegal immigrants. Sixty complaints about the "Go Home or Face Arrest" slogan have been made over concerns they could have been racist. They appeared on vans in six London boroughs.

Treasury minister Sajid Javid is defending the campaign:

"Of course I support the government taking effort and having a trial effort, as that is, to see what can be done to deal with illegal immigration. 

"I think it's a big problem, people up and down the country understand that and we need to make sure we are taking every effort."

Neil Jameson is the Executive Director of Citizens UK - an alliance of local community groups, including churches, in London, Milton Keynes, Nottingham Birmingham.  He told Premier's News Hour it's not the right way to address the issue: 

The vans were driven around Barnet, Hounslow, Barking and Dagenham, Ealing, Brent and Redbridge as part of the week-long campaign last month.

An ASA statment said:

"Complainants have expressed concerns that the ad, in particular the phrase "Go Home", is offensive and irresponsible because it is reminiscent of slogans used by racist groups to attack immigrants in the past and could incite or exacerbate racial hatred and tensions in multicultural communities.

"Separately, some complainants have challenged whether the claim '106 arrests last week in your area' is misleading. 

"They've also challenged whether it is misleading because it implies arrest is the automatic consequence of remaining in the UK without permission.

"We will publish our findings in due course."

The Home Office said it was in contact with the ASA and would "respond in due course".

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