Immigration Matters reports that over 5000 criminals avoid deportation mainly on Article 8 Family life appeals, but has the UK ‘lost the plot’ or are judges merely upholding the law?
There is a clear difference between how the UK Border Agency and the Courts interpret the Human Rights Act and the rights of criminals to remain in the UK using “right to family life” as an excuse, the independent inspector of the UK Border Agency said in a report earlier this week.
The agency needs to address this effectively with a more proactive approach, the report added.
John Vine has reported that over 5,000 convicted foreign criminals who should have been deported remain in the UK. The Agency must do better to manage the cases of 5,735 foreign prisoners who have completed their sentences but either remain in detention or in the community prior to deportation.
According to the report there are 3,775 former foreign prisoners who have been released from custody as there was little or no prospect for them being deported. More than 1,600 foreign national prisoners remained in detention under immigration powers, having completed their sentence.
The former Strathclyde Chief Constable also pointed out that the vast majority of appeals won against deportation orders were on “human rights” grounds. The Agency would have to reduce the number of decisions overturned by the courts on human rights grounds. He suggests the agency should increase its individual casework and prioritise them in a way that situations do not arise for them to be able to use the Human Rights Act to their advantage.
“A significant number of appeals continue to be allowed against decisions to deport, in most cases because deportation would breach the UK’s obligation to the individual under the Human Rights Act,” Mr. Vine said. “The agency must work to reduce the number of decisions overturned on appeal and take full account of the court’s decisions in deciding whether deportation action is appropriate or whether it would breach a person’s rights under article 8.”
“More must be done to actively manage these cases – they represent a growing cost to the taxpayer and cannot be ignored,” he added.
The Immigration Minister Damian Green said this government is doing more to quickly deport foreign criminals and also holding more people in custody beyond their sentence period to tackle the issue.
“For too long Article 8 has been used to place the family rights of foreign criminals above the rights of the British public, which is why we will change the immigration rules to ensure a better balance,” he said. “
The figures from the report also showed that between 2007 and 2010, 20,360 foreign national prisoners were deported from the UK – 5,235 last year alone. Source: egov Monitor.
Immigration judges would no doubt argue that they are upholding the laws and Immigration Rules when allowing an appeal on Human Rights or any other grounds, regardless of whether or not the person is a convicted rapist or drug dealer.
Earlier this month a bogus international student who lied that he could speak English and admitted buying a fake language proficiency certificate was allowed to stay in Britain by immigration appeal judges.
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