Show Hide image The Staggers 2 August 2013 Home Office live-tweets immigration raids The message is clear: we're coming for you. Print HTML The Home Office twitter feed stepped up its ongoing campaign to scare the shit out of migrants yesterday, live tweeting co-ordinated raids across the country. 62 suspected #immigrationoffenders have been arrested in raids across the UK today follow us for updates http://t.co/bRWNrGYMXd — The Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) August 1, 2013 14 #immigrationoffenders arrested at Walthamstow following Home Office operations http://t.co/bRWNrGYMXd — The Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) August 1, 2013 62 suspected #immigrationoffenders arrested across UK - 2 arrested in Brentwood following Home Office operations pic.twitter.com/Fl2dJaCjAz — The Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) August 1, 2013 Mark Harper talks about Home Office operations today targeting #immigrationoffenders which have led to 94 arrests http://t.co/rYERQwpOwq — The Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) August 1, 2013 A suspected visa overstayer arrested at Swansea nail bar – 94 suspected #immigrationoffenders arrested across UK pic.twitter.com/aoBAXAHVJB — The Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) August 1, 2013 A total of 139 suspected #immigrationoffenders have been arrested in raids across the UK today http://t.co/bRWNrGYMXd — The Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) August 1, 2013 The tweets are the public face of what seems to be a deliberate stepping-up of anti-immigrant activities. The department has also launched an aggressive mobile ad campaign aimed at people in the UK illegally, quickly nicknamed the "racist van" due to the similarity of its slogan to those used by the National Front; and anecdotal evidence suggests that spot-checks on public transport, particularly around the capital, have become more frequent and forceful. Late last month, the UK Border Agency was out in force in Kensal Green, in the London Borough of Brent. The borough has the largest foreign-born population in Britain – 54.2 per cent of residents weren't born in the UK, as of the last census — and so any aggressive swoop is likely to feel hostile to its residents. That is twice as true if, as seems likely, there is an element of racial profiling to the checks. Matt Kelcher wrote of his experience, saying that the UKBA agents "didn’t seem interested in me and I walked straight through, but the two Asian women who entered the station after me were stopped, taken to one side and questioned." In a way, the Home Office twitter campaign is just honesty. Actions speak louder than words, and the department's actions make it pretty clear that it is prepared to go to lengths many people find abhorrent to crack down on illegal immigrants. Maybe it's better that they are at least open about it. But what rankles most, judging by the replies to the account, is the pride. Even if we were prepared to accept that this sort of grotty work is necessary given the laws of our country, it's another thing entirely to see the Government revelling in it, and shouting it out for all the world to see. The Home Office argues that the various publicity campaigns are aimed squarely at illegal migrants, encouraging them to leave the country; but, as Rafael Behr wrote of the vans, "at least part of the intended audience for this campaign is people who are British, who think there are too many immigrants here and want some of them to leave". The migrants who might actually see the tweets and fear for their safety look more like collateral damage. › Morning Call: Pick of the papers Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter. From only £1 per week Subscribe More Related articles 7 problems with the Snooper’s Charter, according to the experts The buck doesn't stop with Grant Shapps - and probably shouldn't stop with Lord Feldman, either The Fire Brigades Union reaffiliates to Labour - what does it mean?