Woman Who Has Lived In UK For 50 Years Facing Deportation

Deportation

OTS Solicitors is highly recommended in the Legal 500 for immigration and human rights law.  We have also been selected by the 2017 Global Excellence Awards as the Most Trusted in Immigration Law: UK.  We provide the best legal advice to businesses and individuals throughout the UK and the Middle East.

Paulette Wilson has lived in the UK since she was ten.  Now 61 years old, the UK Home Office is threatening to deport her back to Jamaica, where she has nothing and knows no one. 

In October, Ms Wilson spent a week in Yarl’s Wood detention centre before being sent to the immigration removal centre at Heathrow, the last stop before detainees are flown out of the country.  The only thing that saved her from this fate is the last-minute intervention by her local MP and a charity.  She has now been allowed to go back home but must report to the Home Office in early December, still faces removal and her benefits have not been reinstated.

How could this happen?  Has the Secretary of State lost all sense of perspective and, quite frankly, common decency?  And what steps can a person in Ms Wilson’s position take to fight deportation?

Paulette Wilson’s story

Ms Wilson arrived in the UK in 1968.  Her mother sent her to England for a better life.  Ms Wilson lived with her grandparents and has worked, paid taxes, and made National Insurance contributions for 34 years.  She has led a blameless life and is a mother and a grandmother.  For a period, she worked at the House of Commons restaurant serving meals to MPs and security staff.  Recently, according to The Guardian, she has volunteered at her local church, making weekly meals for homeless people.

Unfortunately, Ms Wilson is not alone.  Many of the best immigration solicitors in London and migrant rights charities are being increasingly contacted by people who moved to the UK in the 1950s and 60s when there was no requirement to formally apply for leave to remain.  Now, under Prime Minister, Theresa May’s “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants, many elderly people are being threatened with deportation as they have no documentation to prove they have a legal right to be in the country.

Earlier this month, the Maidenhead Advertiser advertised an urgent appeal on behalf of a 71-year-old homeless woman, originally from Sierra Leone who was facing deportation, despite having lived in the UK for over 50 years.  The advert asked for former pupils of a Maidenhead school who may be able to prove the woman has lived in Britain since 1966 to come forward. 

It is believed the two women, and many others in the same position have a legal right to stay in the UK because they moved here before the immigration Act 1971 gave people who had already settled in Britain Indefinite Leave to Remain.

The options available to you if you are being threatened with deportation after being in the UK for 50+ years

If you are in the same position as Ms Wilson, there are options available to you to fight any order for deportation.  The most important first step is to contact an immigration lawyer in London to ensure you receive the best advice.

Option 1 – Appeal the deportation on human rights grounds

If you can establish you have a private and family life in the UK (and after 50+ years, most people have), you can appeal the Home Office’s decision to deport you on the grounds it breaches their obligations under Article 8 of the European Convention on human rights.

The immigration rules, Part 13, para 390 lays down the factors the court will consider when deciding whether to cancel a deportation order.  An application for revocation will be considered ‘in the light of all the circumstances’, including:

  • the grounds on which the deportation order was made
  • any representations made in support of revocation
  • the interests of the community, including the maintenance of an effective immigration control
  • the interests of the applicant, including any compassionate circumstances

It is important to note that in July 2017, the Supreme Court ruled in R (on the application of Kiarie) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; R (on the application of Byndloss) v Secretary of State for the Home Department) [2017] UKSC 42, [2017] All ER (D) 70 (Jun) that the government policy of “deport now, appeal later” was unlawful.  This means the Home Office is now unable to deport migrants who can show they have a human rights claim until their appeal rights have been exhausted.

Option 2 – judicial review

If all other legal options have been exhausted, it may be possible to bring a claim for judicial review on the grounds that the Secretary of State’s decision to deport you was unlawful or unreasonable.

Permission to bring a judicial review claim is difficult to obtain.  Even if leave is granted, proving illegality or unreasonableness requires expert legal advice and representation.  However, given the circumstances surrounding these cases of people being deported from the country they have called home for half a century, a judicial review challenge may have a chance of succeeding.

In summary

The cases of people being pursued by immigration officials and stripped of their benefits and right to health care after paying a lifetime of taxes are truly shocking.  Many of the victims, who are often from Commonwealth countries and came to the UK before the requirement to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain was introduced, are elderly and vulnerable.  In Ms Wilson’s case, there is concern about the week she spent in detention.  It is unlawful to put a person in detention without a realistic chance they will be removed from the country.  Therefore, Ms Wilson, and others who have been placed in a similar situation may have a claim for damages against the Home Office.

If you are unsure of your right to reside in the UK, please get in contact with our highly regarded immigration solicitors in London.  We can assist you with collating the documentation to prove your right to live in the UK and help you apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and/or British Citizenship.

OTS Solicitors has been highly ranked in the Legal 500 for immigration and human rights.  Our team has extensive experience in managing immigration appeals and judicial review challenges.  Contact our immigration lawyers in London for the best advice and representation.

OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected immigration law firms in London and is Legal 500 leading firm.  By making an appointment with one of our immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today.  

Categories: 

For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS immigration solicitors on 020 7936 9960 or contact us online.

 

We are one of the UK’s top firms for immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, spouse visas, Student visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA applications, Asylum and human rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur visas and Investor Visas.

Our top immigration solicitors and lawyers are here to assist you.

 

Disclaimer: The information and comments on this page/site is made available free of charge and for educational and information purposes only. The information and comments do not amount to and are not intended to be adopted as legal advice to any individual or company. The use of this site should not be a substitute for specific legal advice, which we ask you to see our contact page or call our solicitors on 0207 936 9960.

By using this site you understand that there is no solicitor and client relationship between you/your company and the site owners or the firm. We make every effort to keep the published articles up-to-date and accurate, however the law changes very rapidly and the older the articles on this site, the more likely that the views in it have changed with the development of the law.