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UK Home Secretary promises to stop foreign criminals abusing human rights laws | Immigration Matters

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Theresa May, the Minister responsible for running the Home Office, of which the UK Border Agency is a part, has promised to bring an end to the rampant abuse of Britain’s human rights laws by foreign criminals.

The Home Secretary said new immigration rules would be in force by the end of the summer to stop them from claiming they have a right to a ‘family life’ in the UK.

The edict will apply to the way the law is interpreted by British courts. But it will not prevent migrants from lodging appeals with the controversial European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The rules will apply solely to cases brought under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which covers the right to family life. They will not deal with cases lodged under Article 3 – the right to be protected from ill-treatment or torture.

This is the section which is preventing the deportation of hate-preacher Abu Qatada.

Mrs May said she wanted to deal with the abuse of the ‘family life’ rule because it was an issue of huge concern to the public.

She will issue guidelines which direct judges to stop ‘gold-plating’ the protection offered to migrants who break the law.

Courts will be told that only in ‘exceptional’ circumstances should a foreign convict or illegal immigrant be permitted to stay.

She said: ‘It’s been causing a lot of concern, not just to the Government but also to an awful lot of members of the public. By the summer we will have in place new immigration rules which I believe will end that abuse.’

The Home Secretary conceded the new rules were likely to be challenged in the courts. She added: ‘If it doesn’t [work], if it’s tested in the courts and we find there’s a problem, we’ll obviously look at other measures, but I’m confident in what we’re proposing to do.’

Mrs May also insisted the Government was continuing to make progress in its efforts to deport Qatada, who is wanted on charges of terrorism in Jordan.

European judges ruled he could not be kicked out on the grounds that some of the evidence which may be used against him might have been obtained by torture. This led to a British immigration judge ruling that Qatada – once described as Osama bin Laden’s ambassador in Europe – must be freed on bail.

Mrs May has been seeking reassurances from Jordan that the fanatic’s rights will be protected.

She revealed that these negotiations were now at the legal ‘nitty gritty’ stage, with government officials visiting Jordan last week to continue talks.

Mrs May declined to put a timeframe on his deportation despite being asked if she expected to see the back of him in weeks, months or by the end of the year.

She said: ‘Hopefully I’m not talking about the end of the year. We are making good progress. I hope you’ll see from the fact that we sent another group of officials over there just this last week, in the last few days, that I am keen to keep up the momentum on this. The public want him to be deported. I want him to be deported.’

There is mounting pressure from Tory MPs for her to defy the court and place Qatada on a plane. Last week, the French government deported two known Islamist extremists without giving Euro judges the chance to intervene.

The pressure on the Government to take a harder line could grow even stronger when Strasbourg rules on whether we can send another hate preacher, Abu Hamza, to the U.S. to face terror charges.

If the court rules ‘no’, ministers face the unpalatable prospect of releasing Hamza – currently held under immigration powers in a high-security prison – back on to the streets.

Tory ministers including Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, are said to want the Prime Minister to extradite Hamza regardless of the ruling.

Failure to deport foreign criminals was the reason that then Home Secretary Charles Clarke resigned and the problem has ever since become a hot potato for his successors.

The EU is not just about trade, it’s about the free movement of people. If someone is a member of an EU country, they can travel into the UK and stay there for 3 months without having to get in touch with the immigration authorities. It is impossible for any government to keep control of who comes in and out of this country.

If Mrs May wants to change the law to allow the UK to deport criminals from within the EU she is going to have a tough time.

1. Subject to the provisions of this charter, Member States may restrict the freedom of movement and residence of Union citizens and their family members, irrespective of nationality, on grounds of public policy, public security or public health. These grounds shall not be invoked to serve economic ends.

2. Previous criminal convictions shall not in themselves constitute grounds for taking such measures.

If the Home Secretary, and indeed the people of this country, wish to control our own borders, decide to stays in this country, who can work or claim benefits in this country, then the only way is to leave the EU. Source: Daily Mail.

The Home Secretary faces an uphill battle to push through any changes to Human Rights laws. A pro-Palestinian activist detained on a visit to the UK has just won his appeal against attempts to deport him.

Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was held and given a deportation order after he flew into the UK in June, breaching a travel ban.

He received notice on Saturday from the Upper Immigration Tribunal that his appeal had succeeded “on all grounds”, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said.

The Home Office said it was “disappointed” and planned to appeal.

However, it would appear that the UK Border Agency already deports or removes people from within an EU country.

Last month two international students, studying in the UK on student visas, were returning from a trip to Paris when they were prevented from boarding a Eurostar train in France by UK Border officers.

After being questioned they were informed by the British officers that were being removed from the UK, even though at this point they were still in Paris and had not even boarded their train back to London.

British border officers are stationed at French Eurostar ports because there is no passport control desk at St Pancras International. Had the students flown back to the UK any questions or action against them would have taken place on UK soil.

An appeal has been lodged by their immigration advisers Bison UK.

See also:

Free Movement of EU nationals explained

Immigration Rule changes to Tier 2 working visas

Pret A Manger to create 550 new UK jobs

Yellow or Blue Card Refused – Appeal or Reapply?

Employment restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians extended until end of 2013

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

7 tips for completing a Yellow Card BR1 application to work and study in the UK

Health care workers needed in UK now

If you are in the UK illegally or would like advice an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.

For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email

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  3. […] a Conservative MP has warned that Mrs May’s plans to amend the rulebook for immigration officials may not go far enough, and new legislation may be required to ensure that foreign […]

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