Skilled Immigrants Protest in London Against Use of Controversial Rule

Several UK politicians extended their support to the highly skilled migrants who have been hit by the Home Office’s use of section 322(5) of the Immigration Act.


Hundreds of demonstrators, mainly from India and other South Asian countries, gathered outside the Houses of Parliament in London on June 5 to protest against UK Home office’s use of Section 322(5) of the Immigration Act to deny immigrants the right to stay permanently in the United Kingdom.

Many political leaders of the country joined the demonstration to extend their support to Indian as well as other non-European Union professionals, who have been hit severely by the use of the rule by the Home Office, the Hindustan Times reported. This was the fourth such demonstration to be held since January.

Section 322(5) of the Immigration Act was formed partially to address the issue of terrorism and people who are assessed as threat to the security of the United Kingdom. It has reportedly been misused by the government to target immigrants over trivial issues.

“We are not getting enough clarity. It’s good the Home Secretary has announced he’s willing to review it but we need to see timescales and a review of the impact its already had — it’s hugely affecting lives,” Alison Thewliss, the Scottish National Party MP for Glasgow Central, who visited the protesters, was quoted as saying by the Hindu.

Thewliss has some constituents who have been affected by the use of section 322(5)and took to the social media to announce that she has been able to secure a debate on the rule on June 13.

Besides Thewliss, the lawmakers who vowed to support the protesters inside and outside the parliament included Stephen Doughty from the Labour Party, Stephen McCabe (Labour), Ruth Cadbury (Labour), Afzal Khan (Labour) and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Labour), the HT report said.

Dhesi, who also joined the protesters, extended his support to them on the social media as well.

Recently, Home secretary Sajid Javid said that he has put on hold action being taken against immigrants who had been facing deportation due to discrepancies in taxation documents. In a letter sent to Yvette Cooper, the chair of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, that was released on May 29, Javid wrote that he had asked Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes to carry out a review of cases.

“The review announcement is fine, but what is the Home Office doing about those who have already been affected and have come again today to protest from all over Britain. They are still unable to work due to the refusal. We are yet to see any positive development,” Aditi Bhardwaj, the co-organizer of the protest, was quoted as saying by HT.

A group of highly skilled migrants, Highly Skilled UK, also took to the social media to urge people to join the protest.

Javid also said earlier this month that the United Kingdom will review the country’s visa system for highly skilled immigrants, BBC reported. As many as 20 members of parliament and a member of the House of Lords earlier said that they would form separate pressure groups to convince the Home Office to stop the deportation of highly skilled migrants. Many MPs and immigration experts have earlier condemned the use of the controversial Section 322(5) of the Immigration Act.

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