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Tue Apr 16, 2019, 10:58 AM

Court castigates Home Office over misuse of immigration law

Source: The Guardian

Court castigates Home Office over misuse of immigration law

Damning verdict says use of terrorism-related rule to refuse applications is legally flawed

Amelia Hill
Tue 16 Apr 2019 13.58 BST Last modified on Tue 16 Apr 2019 14.46 BST

The appeal court has issued a damning judgment criticising the Home Office’s use of a terrorism-related paragraph of immigration law as “legally flawed” and ruling it must be changed.

The Guardian has repeatedly highlighted the Home Office’s use of the rule – designed in part to tackle terrorism – to refuse applications from hundreds of people for making legal amendments to their tax records.

The department has tried to force at least 300 highly skilled migrants to leave the UK under paragraph 322(5), with a further 87 having left and another 400 potentially affected, between January 2015 and May 2018.

The court of appeal has examined four of these cases in depth. The immediate result of its 60-page judgment is that one of these cases has been quashed while the other three will be allowed to appeal, including one in which the court said there was “at least arguably, a distinct unlawfulness, in that the secretary of state failed to make an explicit finding of dishonesty”.

But the wider impact of the judgment is the court’s finding that the “general approach [by the home secretary, Sajid Javid] in all earnings discrepancy cases (has been) legally flawed” and must change. Criticism of the Home Office’s use of the clause has become part of the wider debate over the “hostile environment” and a target-based culture that also gave rise to the Windrush scandal.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/16/court-says-home-office-use-immigration-rule-legally-flawed

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