Weekly Immigration News Digest 12th – 18th May 2018

By Annabel Stuart-Bourne Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
17 May 2018

A selection of the most important immigration news of the week.

Home Office tells couple it divided to stay together on Skype | The Financial Times | 15.5.18

The ‘Skype argument’ has been used by the Home Office in several cases of the removal of immigrants, claiming that relationships and marriages can be maintained through modern technology and social media. Lawyers have vehemently opposed this, calling it ‘ridiculous’ and a breach of human rights. Tony Hiley, a British man, married his partner Kyung in 2016, who is originally from South Korea, and the couple have had unending problems with their attempts to secure Kyung’s right to remain in the UK. The Home Office, who refused the application and advised Kyung to return to South Korea, suggested that they maintain their marriage through ‘modern means of communication’. Danielle Cohen who represents the couple commented that ‘the Home Office assessment of what is proportionate is often poorly and unfairly applied’. Read the full article…

Six immigration officers raid Chinese nursing student and her British fiancé’s home at 5.30am armed with handcuffs and brand her an ‘offender’ despite Home Office assurance she would not face removal action | The Daily Mail | 16.5.18

The home of a couple in London was raided by immigration officers in the early hours of the morning on 1st May to arrest Zixuan Qu, a Chinese woman, and take her to a detention centre for deportation. Miss Qu applied in 2014 for her visa to be extended, but the Home Office has been ‘processing her application’ for the past four years. This includes their holding onto her passport, which has prevented her from leaving the country and marrying her fiancé. 25 minutes after entering the London home, the officials seemed to recognise an error, and promptly left. The couple called the raid ‘intimidating’, which left the two in tears. It seems to have been unnecessary for the raid to be carried out at 5.30am, and for such hostile treatment by the officials. The fact that they then ‘recognised an error’ in the case is disgraceful, as it was a terrifying experience for the individuals, with Miss Qu thinking she would be sent back to China. Read the full article…

Labour would end ‘hostile environment’ policy, says Abbott | The Guardian | 16.5.18
After months of horrific and traumatic stories emerging from immigration detention centres such as Yarl’s Wood, Diane Abbott says that a Labour government would shut down all centres. She also claimed that scrapping minimum income requirements for spouses to join their partners in this country, would be another change she would push. In opposition to May’s ‘hostile environment’, the shadow home secretary said she would try to introduce a ‘more positive message’. The psychological, physical and emotional damage which detainees in immigration centres have suffered is a major problem which Ms Abbott wishes to address, with plans to divert £20m of savings towards domestic violence and trafficking. Read the full article…

Theresa May’s ‘arbitrary’ visa scheme denies entry to thousands of foreign doctors, engineers and scientists with UK job offers | The Independent | 16.5.18
A cap on visas has seen over 6000 high-skilled migrants refused entry into the UK over a period of four months. The executive director for The Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), Sarah Main, believes that there should be no such cap. Peter Finegold, head of education at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said that the economy will suffer most if businesses are unable to bring in enough technically skilled workers. Read the full article…

Home Office is looking at 63 cases where Windrush immigrants might have been wrongly deported, says Sajid Javid | The Daily Mail | 15.5.18

Since the Windrush scandal, it has been unclear as to whether any individuals have been wrongly deported. But it has recently emerged that 63 cases are now being investigated where it seems that wrong action was taken. Sajid Javid admitted that it is possible the number of wrongful deportations is higher than this.
Read the full article…