Author: Matt Rourke,
Two Britons were made unable to contact the UK Immigration minister Caroline Nokes on Twitter after they tried to address her with their immigration-related problems via social media.
According to The Guardian, Two Britons tried to ask Nokes for help after the Home Office failed to respond to their complaints. However, instead they were blocked from reading the minister’s Twitter feed or contacting her.
Stephen Buck was blocked from following Nokes on August 11 for asking the Immigration Minister for help. Stephen’s long-term partner, Rusty Goodfall, was denied the extension of his visa and deported to Australia after waiting 13 months. For more than a year, neither the Home Office nor the MP gave any updates to the couple. “Contacting Nokes on Twitter felt like the only option left to try and get somebody in power to listen,” Buck said.
Over four months Buck had sent 4 tweets to the minister, yet she only responded by blocking him, which he called “truly upsetting, frustrating and insulting.”
Another British citizen, John Holden, who lives in Britain with a Filipino wife, son and three adopted children, was blocked on Twitter on the same day after asking for help with issuing his children British passports. His adopted children needed to go to the Philippines for up for 18 months to have their passports issued and after the return to the UK, John would have to adopt the children he already adopted before, he said.
“My appealing directly to the minister was nothing more than a desperate plea when the feeling of helplessness became overbearing. To be blocked for no apparent reason merely compounded the feeling of despair at a time when it felt all hope was lost,” Jack said, noting that he appealed politely and only after not receiving any responses from the Home Office.
Syed Naqvi, the head of the immigration department at ITN Solicitors and the leading UK lawyer on Immigration, said that Nokes’ actions were “overzealous and certainly not acceptable in a democratic society.”
“Her actions also smack of a complete indifference to the problems faced by the applicants and their families,” noted Naqvi, asking how Nokes can claim to be able to address the problems with immigration system when she is not even prepared to listen to those it is meant to serve.