A Senior Judge this week condemned the immigration ‘merry-go-round’ that allowed an asylum seeker to stay in Britain for a decade.
The Pakistani national was allowed to make a staggering 16 appeals or new applications despite being rejected at every turn, at an estimated cost to taxpayers of at least £250,000.
Lord Justice Ward said the ‘depressing story’ was typical of asylum cases in which ‘endless fresh claims’ were allowed to ‘clog up’ the system.
He said: ‘This is another of those frustrating appeals which characterise – and, some may even think, disfigure – certain aspects of the work in the immigration field.
‘Here we have one of those whirligig cases where an asylum seeker goes up and down on the merry-go-round leaving one wondering when the music will ever stop.
‘It is a typical case where asylum was refused years ago but endless fresh claims clog the process of removal.’
The Court of Appeal judge rejected the man’s latest appeal and insisted he should now be returned to Pakistan.
He concluded: ‘I would therefore dismiss this appeal. It is time the music stopped and the merry-go-round stops turning.
‘His claim for judicial review is now dismissed. Enough of the whirligig. The Secretary of State is now entitled to take steps to remove him.’
The 38-year-old man, whose identity is hidden by the court, first arrived in Britain in August 1998, and claimed asylum one month later.
His claim was rejected by the Home Secretary two years later after an official rejected documents he presented as evidence as ‘false’ and found they ‘cast doubt on his credibility’.
The man claimed he was a member of a religious minority in Pakistan and faced persecution in his home country.
He appealed to a tribunal and lost and in November 2001 he was due to be deported – but this was stopped after he claimed it would breach his ‘human rights’.
At this point, Lord Justice Ward said ‘the merry-go-round had started’.
The new application was refused in December 2001. The man appealed, and lost his case before an official adjudicator in 2004.
Recounting these events, LJ Ward commented: ‘Notwithstanding that setback, the carousel continued to go round and round, because, nothing daunted, the appellant had submitted a fresh claim.’
The new claim was rejected on October 1, 2004, but new claims were made two weeks later, and again in January, May and December of the following year.
He was arrested in February 2006, but made another new claim, which was rejected by the Home Office in March 2006.
But according to the judge, the ‘whirligig kept turning.’
On March 13, 2006, the applicant made a new claim for judicial review of the decision to remove him, which the High Court approved in July 2008.
Lord Justice Ward said: ‘This was to all intents and purposes a new challenge, another ride on the roundabout. On my count, this was the 15th submission of a fresh claim.’
The claim for judicial review was dismissed, but the case then went before the Court of Appeal, leading to a hearing in July this year, and yesterday’s written ruling.
Around £100million is spent annually on legal aid for asylum seekers, but this does not include the cost of courts and tribunal system hearing the cases or the cost to the government of fighting the cases and processing the paperwork.
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has pledged to end abuses of the legal aid system by failed asylum seekers. Source: Daily Mail.
To be fair to the Home Office one could argue that it is Judges who help perpetuate the ‘immigration merry-go-round’ by granting further appeals and allowing even convicted criminal and terrorists to remain after removal orders have been issued.
The judiciary of course would argue that they are merely interpreting the laws made by Parliament.
Then there are EEA rules and European Court rulings which overrule UK Judges, as in the recent ECHR case of a terror suspect who cannot be sent to Jordan because it could infringe his human rights.
The case has been going on for 10 years and has cost the UK taxpayer more than £250,000. Meanwhile he and his large family live on benefits in a house in London all paid for by the British taxpayer.
The simple fact is, migrants and immigration advisers and lawyers know that you always have a chance of overturning a UK Border Agency refusal decision on appeal before a Judge.
In three recent cases Judges overruled the government and allowed overstayers who had broken the law to remain in the UK against the wishes of the UK Border Agency or Home Office.
Firstly, a Bangladeshi student won an Article 8 ‘private life’ appeal in Upper Tribunal to remain in the UK after claiming he ‘played cricket with his friends’ and established a life in the UK.
In the second case a Pakistani student was allowed by Immigration Judge to remain in UK despite buying a fake English certificate.
Finally there was the so called ‘pet cat appeal’ student who was allowed to stay in the UK partly because he owned a cat, even though he had overstayed his student visa and had previously been arrested for shoplifting.
In December 2011 the UK government brought in new charges for some asylum, immigration and visa appeals and introduced new procedures for submitting appeals against refusals. Fees of £80 for a ‘paper consideration’, a decision made by an Immigration Judge on papers without a hearing, and £140 for a full oral hearing at a tribunal will be applied to appeals against decisions taken on or after 19 December 2011.
The new charges do not represent the full cost of administering or conducting an appeal. You should not, therefore, be put off from lodging an appeal against a refusal if you think the decision is unjust, unfair or unlawful.
If you have been refused a visa or renewal or face deportation and need advice on how to appeal, email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: email@example.com or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk
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