Monday, October 17, 2011

Lost in administration: Scandal over criminal immigrants hidden among 37,000 files of foreigners appealing to stay in Britain

Last year, 37,300 cases were launched by immigrants appealing to stay in Britain after the Home Office ruled they were not entitled to remain here.

Of course, this figure accounts only for those tracked down by officials — leaving tens of thousands who have avoided detection free to stay.

A significant number of those foreigners fighting to remain in Britain are small-time criminals, terrorists or fraudsters, although the vast majority originally simply slipped into Britain illegally or deliberately overstayed their visas.

Now, for the first time, the sheer scale of this scandal can be revealed because documents have been released on the Ministry of Justice website, giving details of scores of appeal cases.

A typical example is Rhomaine Miyando Mohan, who has appealed five times in 11 years against attempts to kick him out in what Senior Immigration Judge Waumsley described as a ‘contemptuous disregard for British immigration law’.

The Jamaican has fathered three daughters by two British women despite being deported in 2006 for overstaying his one-month visitor’s visa by six years. After slipping back into the UK on a bogus passport, he was jailed twice for a series of crimes, including driving offences and cocaine possession.

This summer saw the latest attempt by the Home Office to boot him out. His appeal against removal from the UK was turned down.
Last year alone, almost 600 Somalis applied for asylum in the UK.

Sue Reid said many foreigners are exploiting our grotesque human rights laws

So where is Mohan now? He remains in Britain as officials struggle with the chaotic immigration system to deport him.

Then there is the case of a woman from Nigeria who came to Britain and overstayed her visa. She took her case to appeal, claiming she would not be safe in her home country.

She explained that when still in Nigeria she had killed a snake ‘by accident’. As a result, she was a hated figure, because her fellow villagers worship snakes as sacred creatures. If she returned home, her safety could not be guaranteed. The files show her appeal failed — but, on previous form, she is likely still to be here.

A similar case also exposes the preposterous nature of many of the appeals. It involved a 28-year-old Albanian woman, now living in Brighton, who fought against being deported by arguing that, as a lesbian, she would be killed if she returned to Albania (despite there being no law there that discriminates against homosexuality).

Another file details how American Jonathan Bartley Stables, 46, originally won leave to stay in Britain on the grounds of having a five-year relationship with his 27-year-old gay partner. However, two years ago he was jailed for five years after admitting five charges of fraud. Described by the trial judge as ‘a persistent, accomplished and practised fraudster’, he was listed for deportation.

But, on appeal, another judge ruled that Stables — under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act (which demands a respect for family life and privacy) — had a right to stay with his partner. According to the judge, the right outweighed the public interest in stopping crime by foreigners in Britain.

Another Ministry of Justice file recounts the story of 50-year-old Pakistani Raja Mohammed Khan, of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, who also used Article 8 to overturn the Home Office’s attempt to deport him after he killed a man in a car crash while high on drugs.

The files show that Khan crashed into the father-of-two while driving an overloaded milk delivery van after smoking heroin. He was jailed for five years for causing death by careless driving.

Yet, because his second child, a son, has a British passport through his mother, Khan won his appeal not to be deported on the grounds of his human rights to a family life.

Then there’s the case of an Afghan man with the mental age of an infant. He complained through his lawyers that during an appeal hearing into his claim to remain in Britain, the judge fell asleep and therefore missed details of his case.

In the Ministry of Justice files, there is another case involving an Afghan who came to Britain several years ago as a youngster to escape war in his homeland and claiming asylum. Asif Abrahimi, now 18, was told by the Home Office in March that he must leave Britain because it was safe to return to Kabul. Predictably, he appealed — but his claim was rejected.

However, within weeks he was back in the appeal court, saying that his new English girlfriend was pregnant with his baby and that he had rights to a ‘family life’ under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. As a result, he has been allowed to stay in the UK.

A huge number of cases fit a similar pattern. Take 34-year-old Zimbabwean Rudo Ndemera, who arrived at Gatwick airport in 2002 on a six-month visitors’ visa. She overstayed by several years and was eventually found by officials in 2007. She told them that she had a long-term boyfriend who was a British citizen — thus giving her a right to a ‘family life’ in Britain.

However, she failed to produce proof of her relationship with 35-year-old personal trainer Adeniyi Aderinola, despite her lawyer claiming in court that their love could be compared with Romeo and Juliet. In a rare moment of sanity, the court dismissed Ms Ndemera’s fourth request to stay here. Perhaps it is no surprise to discover, though, that today — months after that hearing — she remains in Britain.

But few cases are more shocking than that involving Rohan Cecil William Winfield, 38, a chef from Barbados, who came to Britain 13 years ago as a visitor. He overstayed his visa and went on to marry a British woman with whom he had three children. He then had an affair with a Spanish girl in London who bore him a baby daughter. However, he then raped the Spaniard and was jailed for three years for the attack and ordered to be deported after his release from prison.

But, in July, a judge ruled that Winfield should be allowed to remain in Britain because his removal would ‘violate his human rights and those of his family’ — under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

It is just another example of a foreigner who, like so many others, is exploiting our grotesque human rights laws and has turned our immigration system into a shambles.


Ignored for ten years...abandoned wife's pleas to deport immigrant husband who flouted law

A British woman whose immigrant husband abandoned her weeks after getting into the UK via an arranged marriage revealed yesterday how the authorities spent ten years ignoring her pleas to deport him for flouting the law.

The 32-year-old, who has asked to remain anonymous after threats from her husband’s family, spoke out after learning to her horror that he has been told by the Home Office that he can stay in the UK.

She has spent a decade enduring his taunts about how he has taken the immigration system for a ride. She even took police to the house where the man was hiding – only for him to escape via the back door when bungling officers left it uncovered.

Worse, she says her life is ‘ruined’ because she can never recover from the shame of Sharia law divorce – even though they are still married under British law.

Her protest has been taken up by Deputy Commons Speaker Nigel Evans, who is collecting a dossier of similar cases for Home Secretary Theresa May. He said: ‘It is scandalous that this lady spent ten years telling the police and the Home Office of her husband’s illegal behaviour – yet they did nothing. ‘It makes our immigration system look like a joke.’

The incident came to light after Ministers said two thirds of people who come to the UK on marriage visas have never set foot in the country before. The Government is proposing several new curbs, including encouraging people to report suspected illegal immigrants, outlawing forced marriages and making families of would-be immigrants pay a cash bond.

The woman, who contacted The Mail on Sunday, is a respected member of her community in Blackburn, Lancashire. The daughter of Pakistani immigrants, she was born in the UK, is ‘proud to consider myself English’ and has a full-time professional career.

She said she had been happy to enter an arranged marriage because she considered it ‘part of her culture’. Aged 21, she went to Pakistan to meet her husband, who was her cousin, and they got married. She returned to Britain, where she bought and renovated a house while she waited for her husband to join her.

She said: ‘It wasn’t a love marriage, though I believed love would come after we married. ‘But eight weeks after he arrived, he moved out and moved in with an uncle who lived round the corner. 'I was very shocked. We phoned his mother back in Pakistan and she said “just give him a visa and throw him out”.

We couldn’t believe it. They had been planning it all along. I had kept his passport, and he sent people round to get it. I refused.

I knew he would destroy it to remove any evidence of when he had entered the country. ‘Then he started harassing me. He even sent his grandmother to berate me. He pushed his way into my mum and dad’s house and abused them.

I had to call the police to stop him. The Home Office and the UK Borders Agency said they couldn’t do anything until his one-year marriage visa expired. ‘All the time he taunted me over the way he had got into the country.

On one occasion I tracked him down myself. I called the police and they knocked on the front door of the house where he was staying. He got out via the back and has never been seen again. ‘Recently I was informed he has been given leave to remain here for three years. He qualifies for benefits even though he has never paid a penny in tax because he works for cash illegally.

Incredibly, he is now using legal aid to divorce me. He wants to marry someone else to increase his chances of staying here for good.

‘I have been humiliated. I obtained a Sharia divorce on the grounds of desertion, but we are still man and wife under English law. My life is ruined. As a Muslim once you are divorced, no one will marry you. ‘I have been telling the authorities for years that he should be sent back, but they have done nothing.

The people who suffer most are genuine immigrants who come here legally because it makes people hostile to them.’

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘For too long the immigration system was allowed to get out of control, decisions were not taken quickly enough and that meant those who should not have been allowed to stay were able to do so. ‘The Government is toughening the system to prevent abuse.’


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