London: At least 1,000 highly skilled migrants seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK wrongly face deportation under a section of the Immigration Act to tackle terrorists and individuals suspected to be a threat to national security, the media reported.
Experts have said that the highly skilled workers, including teachers, doctors, lawyers, engineers and IT professionals, were being refused ILR after being accused of lying in their applications either for making minor and legal amendments to their tax records, or having discrepancies in declared income, reports the Guardian.
Highly Skilled Migrants is a support group that represents over 600 workers and says it is in contact with over 400 more, most of whom are facing deportation, with the rest still waiting for a decision by the Home Office.
Aditi Bhardwaj, one of the organisers, said the group has raised about 40,000 pounds ($54,135) to challenge the Home Office in the courts for using the controversial section 322(5) of the Act.
“Ten members of our group have taken the Home Office to the first tier tribunal in the past six months. Nine of these won their cases,” said Bhardwaj.
Saleem Dadabhoy, a scion of one of the wealthiest families in Pakistan, is facing deportation despite three different appeal courts having scrutinised his accounts and finding no evidence of any irregularities, and a court of appeal judge having ruled that he is trustworthy and credible, the Guardian reported.
His deportation would directly lead to the loss of 20 jobs, all held by British citizens, and the closure of a British company worth 1.5 million pounds.
Paul Garlick, a former Queen’s Counsel who specialises in extradition and human rights law, and was a part-time judge at the crown court in London said: “The decisions of the Home Office are beyond belief and deplorable.”
Afzal Khan MP, the shadow minister for immigration, said: “Driven by a misguided net migration target, the Home Office has gone after what they perceive as easy targets…”