UK Politicians Call to Stop Deportation of Highly Skilled Immigrants

Political leaders form group to urge UK Home Office to stop deporting highly skilled migrants using Section 322(5) of the Immigration Act.


As many as 20 Members of Parliament (MP) of the United Kingdom and a member of the House of Lords will form separate pressure groups to convince the UK Home Office to stop the deportation of highly skilled migrants, the Guardian reported.

Many MPs and immigration experts have earlier condemned the use of the controversial Section 322(5) of the Immigration Act, that was formed partially to address terrorism and people who are assessed as threats to the security of the United Kingdom, according to the report.

“It’s now clear the government’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy goes far wider than the Windrush scandal. We are seeing highly skilled migrants facing deportation for the most trivial reasons,” Steve Reed, an MP who is attempting to set up the group of leaders, was quoted as saying. All these MPs have several constituents who are vulnerable to deportation under Section 322(5).

The group, consisting of 20 MPs and a member of the House of Lords, has raised about £40,000 until now to challenge the Home Office in the courts. In the last six months, the group has helped 10 migrants in challenging the government for their use of 322(5), the publication reported. Out of the 10, nine have won their cases where the appeal judges have ruled that the government’s use of the paragraph was incorrect.

Lord Dick Taverne, QC, a Liberal Democrat, said that he will start a campaign to push the UK Home Office till it stops turning UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s policy of an open Britain into a closed one, “through the heavy-handed and unconscionable use of this controversial paragraph of the immigration rules,” the Guardian reported.

Taverne added that the use of 322(5) is baring the United Kingdom of those who have special skills needed by the industries in the country.

Reed has two constituents who are facing deportation under 322(5) for making minor changes to their tax returns. They are fearing deportation although Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has not imposed a fine on them, and no criminal cases have been pursued against any of them.

“It is imperative that we continue to pressure the government on its repugnant use of the 322(5) Immigration Act rules,” MP Alison Thewliss and another member of the group were quoted as saying in the report.

Reed pointed out that it is clear the Home Office has “embraced a political culture that aims to drive immigrants out of the country on any pretext, however flimsy, however unfair, and however discriminatory its effect.” He added that this new group of MPs will fight to ensure that this does not happen to the highly skilled foreign workers.

According to experts, the highly skilled workers, including teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers and IT professionals, are being declined indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the United Kingdom after accusations are leveled against them of lying in their applications — for either making small and legal modifications to their tax records, or for having inconsistencies in the income they have declared.

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