UK Changes Its Deportation Policy On Nigerian Families
The UK Home Secretary Theresa May has been ordered by court to bring back immigrant mother and her son deported earlier to Nigeria. This is a landmark precedent impacting current British deportation policy of deporting first, appealing later.
The United Kingdom officials have been ordered to track down and pay for returning of the single 45-year old Nigerian mother and her five-year old son to the UK from Nigeria deported there in January.
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The issued court decision is believed to be the first of its kind. It is the first time when an immigration judge ordered the government to return immigrant previously deported from the UK. This precedent undermines British state policy of “deporting first, appealing later”. According to that policy migrants would be sent home to their countries immediately unless there is real proof they're at risk of “irreversible harm” at home. This landmark decision can influence the way scores of migrant families are deported from the UK.
Judith Dennis, policy manager for the Refugee Council, praised the court decision: “this case is important because it highlights the need for a clear, transparent policy concerning children and their rights when it comes to asylum. We have this rhetoric about deportation and people being able to appeal from outside the country, but what this ruling says is that you need to balance the need for immigration control against the best interests of the child.”
The grounds behind this court decision is the welfare of the child, which should be the “primary consideration” in deportation orders even if their parents' appeal for asylum was dismissed.
Nigerian mother and her son were deported on a plane to Nigeria in January. The woman claimed to have been illegally living in the UK since 1991 after she became orphan when her parents were killed in a car crash. The woman told the court she feared discrimination in Nigeria as a single mother. In court she stated that she came to the UK to escape forced marriage to an older man. She paid traffickers to get to the UK and worked illegally in a shop before giving birth to her son in 2009. A year later she asked for asylum in the UK on the basis of the fear of persecution in Nigeria.