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POLITICIANS and experts slammed the Home Office’s “hostile environment” policy today as at least 1,000 highly skilled migrants are wrongly facing deportation.
The specialists, who are seeking indefinite leave to remain in Britain, are being denied their right to work under a section of the Immigration Act designed to tackle terrorism and threats to national security.
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said it is yet another example of how “damaging and irrational” the Tories’ “hostile environment” policy is, having been ramped up by then home secretary Theresa May in a bid to bring net migration figures down.
“The random manner in which these rules are being applied goes hand in hand with the Home Office’s arbitrary migration targets,” she said.
“Just like the Windrush generation, people that have given so much to Britain are being subjected to more of this government’s cruelty. The hostile environment must end.”
Immigration experts say the highly skilled workers, who include teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers and IT professionals, are being refused indefinite leave to remain because they are accused of lying in their applications, according to the Guardian.
They have come under scrutiny for making minor and legal amendments to their tax records or having discrepancies in declared income.
In one case an applicant’s tax returns were scrutinised by three different appeal courts where no evidence of irregularities was found. Basic tax errors allegedly made by the Home Office itself are also used as the basis for refusal.
Cases include a former NHS manager now £30,000 in debt due to Home Office costs and legal fees, who spends her nights fully dressed, sitting in her front room with a suitcase packed in case enforcement teams arrive to deport her.
Migration and diaspora history professor Tanja Bueltmann tweeted: “This is down to Theresa May’s obsession with immigration.
“It is an obsession that harms not only those people most immediately caught up in it, though it’s worst for them, but also this country.”
Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: “It is wholly impossible to have a ‘fair and humane’ immigration policy alongside the hostile environment.
“That is a paradox and a contradiction in terms. Everyone who looks like they could be an immigrant is treated like a criminal.”
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