Of those arrested in the first six months of 2021, 4,482 were from Romania, eclipsing figures from neighboring Bulgaria, of which 600 were arrested, and the 400 respondents from Poland.
Nationals of northern European countries were barely affected by the new immigration controls, with only five Danes arrested, 59 from Belgium and 144 from France contested by the official .
Law firm Bates Wells, which analyzed the figures, said that the data could reflect a disproportionate number of Romanians trying to enter the country after free movement. ment finished, they wondered about possible racial profiling at the .
"It is legitimate to carry out general checks in order to control illegal immigration but these latest numbers beg the question of where there is an underlying agenda.
"These types of shutdowns can be traumatic, and there are a risk of immigration officers targeting innocent people. Racial profiling is discriminatory and it needs to be nipped in the bud if it occurs, "said Chetal Patel, immigration lawyer and partner at Bates Wells.
The data, published on Gov.uk , does not provide a breakdown of nationalities returning or coming to the UK for the first time in 2021 or figures for arrivals via airports.
The explanatory notes state that 'not all persons will have been detained in an accommodation room' and 'some of those refused will subsequently be allowed to enter the UK, others will be allowed entry on bail for immigration, while others will be refused entry. ”
One explanation could be the lack of awareness or confusion over the rule change on January 1. Another possible reason for the high number of Romanians arrested could be the return of people with established or pre-established status to stay in the UK after Christmas, Easter or absences containment.
As of June 30, data from the Home Office shows that Romanians were the second largest category of applicants with 1.067 million du pays. Although 1.09 million Polish nationals have applied for the settlement program, the data shows much lower shutdown figures.
While visas are not required for visits up to 90 days, or for those who were already living in the country with a pre-established or established status, officials were accused of having a heavy hand earlier this year after it emerged they were detaining EU citizens on short trips to visit friends, family or partners.
The Guardian reported in May that EU citizens were sent to immigration removal centers and held in detention rooms. airport detention.
"There is clearly work to be done to educate people on what to expect,so that they are not caught off guard, "Patel said.
The Home Office has been contacted for comment.