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AFRICAN ECHO NEWS

THE LAW, IMMIGRATION & YOU
By: Dr. David Akin-Samuels PhD, Immigration, Law/Business Adviser


TRYING IT OUT-YOU KNOW THE PASSPORT IS NOT YOURS!

We repeat this article as requested by many of our readers

Hello again, and welcome, Immigration Rules are changing by the day, quietly, many procedures are being implemented, it is the Home Office right to introduce Rules aimed at controlling entering and living in the United Kingdom.

The Home Office derived their power from the Act of Parliament and as such has the right to create rules to control anyone that wishes to come to the United Kingdom either as a visitor or to reside here permanently.

The incorporation of Human Rights Act 1998 into the British Domestic law does not completely rule out the power of the Home Office, even though there are particular Articles of the Human Rights that are non derogatory such as Article 3 which states that "No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" This is an absolute right, one which the every contracting states of the Union must obey!. Another one can be seen in Article 2 "Right to life" - Though this is debatable and depends on the standard and quality of life! Nevertheless, a dead person is a dead person.

Literal interpretation of this is that law must preserve individual life. OK, I am now here to teach Human Rights Act 1998.

Having said this, there is a particular aspect of the Human Right Act that is relevant to this discussion; this is Article 8 "Right to respect for private and family life".

This is the most used article of the Act by those seeking leave to remain in the United Kingdom. Let us see this in operation. We will call our subject "Ade", a Nigerian, 38 years old who arrived in the United Kingdom in 2004.

Ade has been struggling to obtain a British Entry Clearance for nearly 3 years, he has paid so much Naira to so many 419 boys who promised to obtain the visa for him through their connections with the British Embassy in Abuja but he has lost so much money, at a certain stage he became so frustrated he decided to come to Lagos to try it out. In Lagos, he met Joe who agreed to assist; Joe gave him a condition that he must pay half now and half when the visa is out.

Ade was happy with this. Within two weeks, the visa was out. A very happy man, he paid Joe the balance of the money and made his way to the United Kingdom.

Upon arrival, he told the Immigration Officer he was only staying for two weeks! (Not unusual). Ade with his connection with Joe has no problem. As soon as he settled, he despatched his passport back to Nigeria so that the passport could be stamped to show that he has arrived safe and well in Lagos.

Point Number One! Ade is now here without a passport and nothing to show when he actually arrived in the UK or when his stay expires. His intention was that as soon as his visa is renewed in Nigeria he will go back home to collect it and then come back to the United Kingdom, once again as a visitor!! No problem!

Financial squeeze was not envisaged! Ade requires pound sterling to pay his rent, obtain a new ticket to go to Nigeria and to purchase another return ticket to London. He needs money for his existence, one way or the other the money has to come, otherwise, he is in deep trouble.

Ade's friend, Delroy, a Jamaican, could fix a new EEC Passport for Ade. There was no choice, Ade has been attending various interviews and the result is always…. "Could you bring your passport to the office to show that you are eligible to work in the United Kingdom please? At the end, he paid Delroy the asking price and got the EEC Passport with a look (very much) alike picture and in the name of "Francois".

Don't forget Ade does not speak a word of French and has never in his life visited France before now! (Poor thing).

Ade now secures a Job as a Parking Attendance in one of the Boroughs. (He can and will issue you ticket if you park your car on the yellow lines) Never mind, there are no Yellow lines in Nigeria, but this is his job and must be done - afterwards he is an EEC National (or so to say).

Incidentally, he will be paid, one month in hand, which means he will only get paid the following month!.

Ade was happily walking the streets of London in Uniform and with all the gadgets to issue tickets to any unfortunate car owner that park his car to pick up a big-mac! He got home one evening after covering about 25 miles in circle and on foot! He found a letter from his office asking him to provide his Bank Details" for BACS transfer of his salary.

No problem he said to himself! The following morning was his off day so he decided to visit Lloyds bank to open an account. Everything went well, the account was opened and he was given a temporary account number, which he quickly gave to his employers.

His first salary £1,450.00 was paid into the account. In the meantime he has not received his bankcard, so he cannot use the ATM to draw out cash. He decided to call the bank to find out what was happening to his bankcard.

Ade was asked to come into the Bank to pick his bankcard up. No problem he said to himself! Afterwards, he can pick it up when he is on duty so he does not require a day off to pick up his precious bankcard.

In full Uniform, Ade went to the bank, announce his presence to the Cashier that he there to pick up his bankcard.

The Cashier once again request a form of Identity card, Ade proudly produced his EEC Passport and the Cashier politely asked him to please take a seat and that he will be called shortly.

Ade sat down waiting, his friend Femi came to the bank and they spoke in Yoruba for about 3 minutes before shaking hands and saying goodbye.

While Ade was waiting, four Police Officers entered the bank and went through to the Bank Office. Ade did not flinch, afterwards he works close enough to the Police, as a matter of fact he has seen two of the Police Officers before. He thinks nothing about it when the Bank Cashier said he should come inside the bank office to sign for his bankcard. He entered, signed and he was about to leave when the one of the Police officers said Mr. Francois! At this stage, Ade even forgot that Francois was his adopted name, and for a split of a second, he woke up and answered his name…….

No more news! Ade was arrested in full uniform, and taken through the bank in handcuffs into the waiting Police Car.

At the Police Station, Ade requested to speak to his Solicitor, No Problem, the Custody officer said, but you will not be able to do that right now because we are busy.

Eventually, Ade was charged to court after he has confessed that the Passport was not his own. He was remanded in custody for three months and ended up in Snearsbrook Crown Court where he was sentenced to 12 months in prison for using false instrument, the Judge recommended deportation upon completion of his prison sentence.

…Another life is ruined through the struggle for economic survival! This is one of the new procedures that have come through the back door and more and more people are falling into these problems.!

Ade appealed against his deportation order and at the Immigration Court his Solicitor relied on Article 8 and the Home Office Lawyer relied on the same Article 8 but Section 2 or the said Article which states that " There shall be no interference by a Public Authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interest of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedom of other".

Guess who won! The Law! Reason, Ade has been in the United Kingdom illegally, he has been working illegally, he has been using a fake passport, he has attempted to use deception to open a bank account, in short, he has violated his own Article 8 of the Human Rights.

I do accept one fact that once you are in this position, it is difficult to get out of it and the law is becoming very unfriendly to those in your position. Think fast on how you could get out of it - go and speak to an Immigration Lawyer so that he or she may reassess your options.

Remember, there is no amnesty out there yet! Even though many people have talked this about, nothing about amnesty has been announced by the Home Office and until then, shine your eye! You will soon hear from me again!

Should you require advice on the above issue please contact the African Echo publishers who will direct you to an Immigration Lawyer.

 

Please email your comments to
editor@africanecho.co.uk

 
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