Sunday, August 25, 2013

Violent Bosnian with string of convictions can't be deported from Britain because it would violate his human rights

A foreign criminal jailed for a series of violent attacks cannot be deported because it would violate his human rights, it has been ruled.

Sanel Sahbaz, a Bosnian who now lives in Hertford, came to Britain as a child in 1993. Since 2005 he has committed a string of offences including common assault, handling stolen goods, theft, public order offences and assaulting police.

In one incident he attacked his landlord, pushing him to the floor, repeatedly kicking him and stamping on his head until the man fell unconscious.

Sahbaz, 30, qualified for automatic deportation after he was jailed for four years, and the Home Office told him he would be sent home.

But he has now been told he can stay indefinitely after he brought a legal challenge under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to  private and family life.

His lawyers argued that if he was sent back to Bosnia it would separate him from his parents, brother and cousin, who are also in Britain, which would breach his rights.

Last night critics said that the ruling by a judge in the Immigration and Asylum Chamber reinforced the need for urgent reform of immigration laws.


Vital migrant I.D checks scrapped: Stowaways no longer fingerprinted at Calais which means they can keep trying to sneak back into Britain to claim asylum

The UK has abandoned identity checks on illegal immigrants trying to sneak into the country from Calais.  In a huge security downgrade,  Border Force officials no longer  photograph or fingerprint immigrants found stowing away in lorries at the Channel ferry port.

Instead, they are handed to French police, who free them, enabling them to try again and again until they succeed.

The scrapping of fingerprinting means that if the migrants reach Britain and apply for asylum under a false identity, claiming to be refugees, immigration officers have no way of identifying them as having previously tried to enter Britain illegally. As a result, they cannot expose their new identity as fake.

Economic migrants, criminals and terrorists can now slip much more easily through the net. This contrasts with the increasingly strict checks on holiday-makers, who have to hand over their passport which contains biometric information to confirm their identities.

Tory MP Peter Bone last night called for the ‘extraordinary’ and ‘disturbing’ loophole to be closed. The scandal, which makes a mockery of Government promises of tougher immigration controls, has been going on for more than three years. It came to light during an official inspection, which published its report two weeks ago.

The security gap also means migrants’ details cannot be checked against prints and photos taken in the EU country where they first enter Europe – often Italy, Greece or Malta. Under the rules, migrants are meant to live in the EU country where they arrived while their asylum claim is processed there.

But many immediately head straight for Britain because the benefits system is more generous. Once in the UK, they can avoid being sent back to the original country of entry by lying about their identity.  Terrorists and foreign criminals can create horror stories about their past lives and pretend to be refugees.

Economic migrants seeking a ‘better life’ are also able to fabricate tales of needing urgent asylum, claiming they come from war-torn countries. This creates havoc in the UK’s overburdened asylum system as officials try to sort out who is a genuine refugee.

The Border Force claims it catches 8,000 would-be illegal migrants in lorries in northern France each year.

But this official tally is now in doubt because a migrant whose identity goes unchecked in Calais can make multiple attempts as a stowaway to get to Britain while being counted again and again as a new ‘catch’.

John Vine, independent chief inspector of Borders and Immigration, who wrote the report, said: ‘It seems odd that ordinary travellers are subject to 100 per cent checks when those travelling illegally are not subject to this regime. People attempting to enter the UK concealed in freight vehicles, who are discovered by Border Force, are no longer fingerprinted at Calais.’

British border officials stopped processing ‘clandestines discovered in freight vehicles’ at the port in January 2010. They blamed the lack of available ‘detention’ facilities.

However, the chief inspector has called for the Home Office to ‘reconsider’ identity checks to protect UK borders.

Mr Bone said last night: ‘It is very disturbing that the Border Agency is not doing the basics when it catches illegal immigrants. By definition illegal immigration is a crime and it is very hard to see why it should be treated any differently from any other crime.

‘If we stopped fingerprinting burglars because we lacked detention facilities there would be uproar. Ministers will now have to explain why this offence should be treated differently. The Government needs to take urgent action to correct this extraordinary situation.’

Charlie Elphicke, Tory MP for Dover, said he had been assured that the Home Office would review the situation.  He added: ‘It is clearly important that we have the tightest possible border security. The report is clear these people should be fingerprinted and it is right that the Home Office is going to review it.’

Last night the Home Office said scrapping checks freed up the Border Force to concentrate on searching vehicles for stowaways and was decided by the last Labour government.  A spokesman added: ‘Would-be illegal immigrants found by Border Force in freight vehicles are handed to the French authorities for processing, including fingerprinting where appropriate.’

However, during a Daily Mail investigation, migrants caught on the lorries said they had not been fingerprinted or photographed by either the British or French authorities.  Syrian Rami Kazaz, 35, told the Mail: ‘The British officials hand us over to the French police who let us go.  ‘I don’t know of anyone found on a lorry who has had their fingerprints checked. This encourages us to try again.’

Fawzi Aloui, a 29-year-old Tunisian, said he was fingerprinted and photographed in Lampedusa, Italy, after fleeing there by boat from the North African coast three years ago.

‘They checked my identity thoroughly. I have tried to get through to Britain on a lorry every night for three months in Calais. Each time I am caught, the British take no details of who I am or ask which country I came from. I have not been fingerprinted by the French either.’

People-trafficking gangs smuggle at least 30 migrants every day to this country from Calais.


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