Home Immigration News Student treated as ‘low-hanging fruit’ in immigration row, says MP in attack on Home Office

Student treated as ‘low-hanging fruit’ in immigration row, says MP in attack on Home Office

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Author: Jez Hemming

A Bangor University student was treated as “low-hanging fruit” by the Home Office when she was arrested and threatened with deportation, said a North Wales MP.

Hywel Williams, MP for Arfon, raised the case of Sri Lankan-born Shiromini Satkunarajah today as he challenged Home Secretary Amber Rudd to provide redress to those whose lives have been “wrongly disrupted by Home Office target chasing”.

Despite living in the UK with her family since she was 12, and satisfying all the conditions of her residency, Miss Satkunarajah was arrested with her mother on a visit to Bangor police station .

She was taken to Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire pending deportation, despite being just months away from completing an engineering degree at Bangor.

Mr Williams stepped in and won a reprieve for her and her mother after haranguing Home Office ministers in a campaign covered by the Daily Post.

Miss Satkunarajah went on to gain a first class honours degree in Electrical Engineering.

Mr Williams raised the issue with the Home Secretary during an Urgent Question in the House of Commons on immigration removal targets, after it emerged that the Home Office had specific targets to remove those without UK passports.

He said: “I have always been puzzled as to why my constituent Shiromini Satkunarajah, a Londoner and student at Bangor University, was wrongly detained at Yarls Wood last year. The answer now seems to be clear.

“She was a Tamil who escaped Sri Lanka as a child, and was reporting to her local police station as was required, doing her duty under law.

“She was, to use that horrible dehumanising phrase, ‘low hanging fruit’.

“What is the Home Secretary and her department now doing to identify and provide redress to those not of the Windrush generation, but whose lives have been wrongly disrupted by Home Office target chasing?”

In reply, Ms Rudd said: “I would never use that phrase and it’s not an approach I would want anyone to take who works in the Home Office.

Hywel Williams MP

In reply, Ms Rudd said: “I would never use that phrase and it’s not an approach I would want anyone to take who works in the Home Office.

“I have said that, as a result of the Windrush changes, I am making sure that the Home Office has a more human face.

“I am setting up a new contact centre. I’m making sure there are more senior case workers to ensure that the more junior case workers have the confidence to make their decisions by engaging with someone who is really experienced.

“I accept we need to make the Home Office more personal, and I will be doing that.”

Source: https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/home-office-bangor-university-immigration-14579847

 

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