19 January 2012

Judge slams UK immigration department after illegal immigrant's 16 appeals

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A senior judge has criticised the UK immigration department's policies after an asylum seeker remained in the country for more than a decade while he repeatedly was permitted to appeal his deportation, a total of 16 times.

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Lord Justice Ward claims the UK immigration system has become 'disfigured' by 'endless apeals'.

Lord Justice Ward has rejected the Pakistani national's claim for a UK visa and insisted he should now be returned.

The 38 year old man, who has not been named, first arrived in the UK in 1998 and claimed asylum a month later on the grounds that, as a member of a religious minority, he would face persecution if he returned to Pakistan.

However, his claim was rejected in 2000 after his evidence was suspected false and doubts were cast on his credibility. He appealed this decision at a tribunal in November 2001, which he also lost.

After this decision, the man was due to be deported in November of that year but managed to claim that the deportation would infringe on his human rights; this application was denied in December.

He was allowed to appeal this decision before an official judicator in 2004. After losing again, he filed new appeals in October 2004 as well as January, May and December of 2005, all of which were denied.

He was arrested in early 2006 but lodged another claim which was denied by the Home Office in March of that year. This was immediately followed by a new claim, this time for a judicial review of the decision to move him.

This case was dismissed but again went before the Court of Appeal and was heard in July 2011, when it came before Lord Justice Ward. He hopes his written ruling will be final and that the man will now be deported.

The repeated appeals and stays of deportation have allegedly cost over £250,000 and Lord Justice Ward has voiced his disappointment at the continuous exploitation of the UK immigration system, claiming that this man's case is not unique.

"This is another of those frustrating appeals which characterise and, some may even think disfigure, certain aspects of the work in the immigration field.

"It is a typical case where asylum was refused years ago but endless fresh claims clog the process of removal".

Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has vowed to try and reduce the abuse of the legal aid system and bring down the estimated £100 million which is spent on legal aid for asylum seekers each year.

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