ROMA people arriving in Scotland from the EU are being unfairly targeted by border control, a charity has claimed.

Friends of Romano Lav (FoRL) has said it is "deeply concerned" about recent Home Office activity in Govanhill in relation to the Romanian Roma community.

The organisation claims Romanian nationals are being made subject to additional questioning at Glasgow Airport with new arrivals being asked for proof of employment, which goes against freedom of movement principles.

FoRL also claims Roma families are being harassed by Home Office officials repeatedly turning up at their homes, causing residents to live with "day-to-day fear".

The issue was also brought to the attention of the Govanhill Regeneration Group, a collection of community representatives and social agencies such as police, local councillors, social work and Big Noise Govanhill.

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It comes after the Home Office issued immigration enforcement notices to 60 people in Govanhill, of whom around 45 Romanian citizens have now been removed or are in detention prior to removal.

Concerns were expressed at a recent Regeneration Group meeting that women and children are being left destitute by these removals.

Minutes of the meeting show officials have now asked that "a support agency be set up immediately to include welfare rights officers, social workers and law centre to ensure that children and families are aware of their human rights and legislation."

Romanian Roma are able to live in Scotland as EEA nationals for three months before they must exercise Treaty Rights - that is, work, be self-employed or self-sufficient.

A spokeswoman for FoRL said: "As an organisation supporting Roma communities in Scotland, FoRL understands that Romanian nationals are being subjected to additional questioning at Glasgow Airport, with evidence of employment - such as employment contracts - being demanded at border control to guarantee entry and, where such evidence is not forthcoming, confirmation is made via telephone calls to employers.

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"This contravenes the principle of freedom of movement, with European Union citizens entitled to reside in the United Kingdom for an initial period of up to three months as jobseekers."

In a major operation involving Police Scotland, the Home Office, HMRC, the DWP and the National Crime Agency, a crime ring that had claimed nearly £1 million in fraudulent tax credit claims was uncovered.

The sting was part of Police Scotland's Operation Mighty, which, as previously told in the Evening Times, came into force in June this year.

The Home Office said 14 people had been denied entry to the UK as part of the operation.

So far 60 people, including two Iranians, one Slovakian and 53 Romanians, have been issued with an immigration enforcement notice advising they have no permission to remain in the UK.

The FoRL spokeswoman added: "Whilst any crimes must be prosecuted and dealt with by the relevant authorities, we have evidence to suggest that, on the basis of specific cases that have been processed, the Home Office is now targeting the Romanian Roma community in general and has been harassing individuals and families without due cause, repeatedly showing up at their homes with the police and demanding to see work contracts.

"This amounts to racial profiling and criminalises a community."

She said it was the charity's belief that individuals had been taken to Brand Street Immigration Centre for questioning under caution without solicitors present.

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She added that other had signed documents they did not understand with only telephone interpreters being made available.

The FoRL spokeswoman added: "We are particularly concerned that the Home Office may be using the mechanism of ‘voluntary returns’ to effectively deport Romanian Roma from the UK.

"FoRL has been gathering evidence about the effect this harassment is having on the communities that we support, which demonstrates the day-to-day fear that families are now living under.

"We demand that the Home Office is held accountable for its actions and that an inquiry into Home Office activity in Govanhill is carried out."

Glasgow has Scotland's highest number of Roma people with around 3500 living in Govanhill.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: “Operation Mighty is a successful multi-agency operation targeting crime, anti-social behaviour and immigration abuse within the Govanhill area of Glasgow.

“It has produced significant results to date, including 36 removals and a fall in crime.

“Border Force officers can check arriving EU passengers for evidence of employment, but only when they suspect that person is not exercising their treaty rights or is vulnerable to exploitation."

In 2011, lawyer Aamer Anwar said the Muslim community was refusing to fly from Glasgow Airport after claims of racial profiling.

Mr Anwar said one Afghan man living in Glasgow returned from a trip home to be asked by officers if he knew Osama Bin Laden.