Residence Workplace officers “unlawfully detained” a Jamaican banker who’s dealing with deportation on Wednesday, his legal professionals say.
James Matthews, 33, was awaiting the end result of his software for go away to stay earlier than being detained in Harmondsworth Immigration Removing Centre earlier this month and labelled an “overstayer”. He stays in detention forward of a constitution flight that’s set to take away round 20 individuals who all have sturdy ties to Britain.
The previous Jamaica Nationwide Financial institution worker had utilized for go away to stay on the idea of his relationship with a British citizen in July 2020, however the Residence Workplace stated this software was refused on 2 February this 12 months. Nevertheless, Mr Matthews says neither he nor his earlier authorized representatives have been notified about this or served with the refusal resolution.
In gentle of this, his representatives at MTC Solicitors say he’s nonetheless lawfully resident within the UK, with an in-country proper of enchantment, which means Mr Matthews’ detention is illegal, as can be his elimination from this nation.
A press release from Alison Legislation Solicitors, Mr Matthews’ earlier authorized consultant, confirms that it didn’t obtain a refusal letter from the Residence Workplace regardless of officers’ claims on the contrary.
The doc, seen by The Impartial and dated 16 Could, reads: “I verify that Alison Legislation Solicitors didn’t obtain a call from the SSHD Residence Workplace dated 2 February 2022 in relation to Mr James Matthews by put up, electronic mail or every other type of correspondence.”
A pre-action letter despatched to the Residence Workplace by MTC Solicitors requested their consumer’s speedy elimination from detention, the cancellation of his deportation order, a replica of the refusal resolution letter, and particulars of the place, how and when the refusal resolution was served on their consumer.
The Residence Workplace replied attaching a replica of the refusal resolution letter, saying it was despatched to Alison Legislation Solicitors.
“This refusal letter was not acquired by our consumer, nor by his authorized representatives on the time, which they’ve confirmed by the use of an electronic mail,” solicitor Naga Kandiah informed The Impartial. “We’ve now been left with no different alternative however to pursue judicial assessment proceedings, which is a waste of courtroom time and the consumer’s and taxpayers’ cash.”
Mr Kandiah stated that Mr Matthews had “accomplished all the things in his energy to adjust to the principles” and accused the Residence Workplace of “failing to justify their inhumane and merciless resolution to detain him and put him on the constitution flight”.
Furthermore, within the occasion that the Residence Workplace refuses an software for go away to stay, the division is required to refund the immigration well being surcharge inside six weeks, in keeping with its personal steering. Up to now, Mr Matthews says he’s but to obtain this refund from the Residence Workplace.
“I’ve abided by each single rule. How can I be an ‘overstayer’ when the Residence Workplace hasn’t responded to my software to stay right here? So far as I used to be involved, I’ve an lively software,” Mr Matthews informed The Impartial from his cell at Harmondsworth final Friday.
“I’m removed from OK; I’m used to having my freedom. I’m coping in addition to I can, however I’m nonetheless traumatised. Once they have been banging the entrance door after which I heard somebody say my title, I used to be shocked. I’ve by no means dedicated against the law in both this nation or Jamaica.”
Mr Matthews got here to the UK in October 2019 on a customer visa, and was unable to return to Jamaica on the time this expired in April 2020, as journey to and from Jamaica was suspended due to the Covid pandemic.
The Residence Workplace prolonged his keep to 31 July 2020 due to the extenuating circumstances, and he was suggested of his proper to use for go away to stay within the UK from inside this nation – known as “in home” – once more due to the pandemic. His software was lodged on 28 July 2020.
The couple’s MP, Wes Streeting, has requested the Residence Workplace to halt the deportation.
Many of the Jamaican individuals dealing with deportation reside with a incapacity or well being downside, and got here to Britain as kids, in keeping with evaluation shared with The Impartial.
The authorities has beforehand insisted that deportation flights have been designed to take away “harmful international criminals” from the UK, nonetheless Mr Matthews – a earlier candidate for Jamaica’s Constabulary Drive – doesn’t meet these standards and is a law-abiding citizen.
A Residence Workplace spokesperson stated: “These with no proper to be within the UK, together with international nationwide offenders, needs to be in little doubt that we are going to do no matter is important to take away them. That is what the general public rightly expects, and why we often function flights to completely different international locations.
“The New Plan for Immigration will repair the damaged immigration system and cease the abuse we’re seeing by expediting the elimination of those that haven’t any proper to be right here.”