Author: Kirsteen Paterson
The immigrants were refused ILR by Amber Rudd
IN yet another defeat for the Home Office’s “hostile environment” approach to immigration, four African immigrants are to be allowed to stay in Scotland after a Scottish judge threw out potential deportation cases against them.
Russell Dadzie and his partner Rhoda Parker-Wilson, originally from Ghana, and Collins and Ishoma Oji from Nigeria were all set to be deported after being refused Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) by the former Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
The Home Office had sent them both a decision letter in November, 2017, refusing ILR which in turn meant that Parker-Wilson and Oshima Oji would also have to leave the country.
The Home Office decision letters shown to the Court or Session questioned the credibility of both men, but Lord Tyre said there was no evidence in the letters that the Home Office had considered the excuses made by both men – that the errors were a simple case of oversight.
Writing on the Oji case, Lord Tyre stated: “In my opinion the mere fact that different amounts were declared to HMRC and to UKVI did not constitute a sufficient basis for the conclusion that the petitioner (Oji) had acted dishonestly and that it was accordingly undesirable to grant him permission to remain.
“In the circumstances of the present case, one would have expected the respondent [the Home Secretary] to explain why an inference of dishonesty was to be drawn despite these factors and the petitioner’s statement that the under-declaration had been due to oversight. The respondent was not, of course, bound to accept that statement as plausible or satisfactory. But the difficulty with the decision letter is that it does not demonstrate that any consideration was given to these matters at all.
“It is further vitiated by the reference to an error by an accountant: no such excuse had been put forward by the petitioner and there is nothing in the papers to indicate that an accountant was involved in the submission of the incorrect return.
“In the absence of any assessment of whether there was evidence of deliberate misdeclaration as opposed to innocent error, the decision was, in my opinion, unreasonable .”
Lord Tyre delivered a similar verdict in the Dadzie case, and he also set aside all four of the Home Office decisions.