May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ alive & kicking – Stop Unison member Grahame French’s wife from being deported

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Marchers on a demonstration demand that Yarl’s Wood immigration prison is shut down

TORY PM May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ is alive and kicking, with trade union Unison highlighting the case of a married couple who face being split up after having jumped through every single hoop the Home Office has put them through, and still their application against deportation continues to be rejected!

The Home Office seems determined to split them up and send Mr French’s wife to Jamaica.

The union makes the call: ‘Unison member Grahame French urgently needs your help.’

Stating ‘Mr French is struggling to understand why the Home Office is trying to split him and his wife up.

‘A Jamaican national, Pauline Taylor-French has lived in the UK – entirely legally – for 17 years, working as a carer until the Home Office barred her from working, even though the couple fulfilled the criteria for her to stay.

‘Unison is currently helping, but Mr French has also set up a petition on the 38 Degrees site.

‘Here, you can read a more detailed explanation of the case and sign the petition. Please also pass it on through your social media networks.

‘We hope to provide more in-depth coverage of this story soon.’

Addressed to Tory Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Grahame French has launched an on-line petition gaining rapid support.

It states: ‘Please save my wife Pauline Taylor-French

‘Reverse the decision to refuse Pauline’s human rights application whilst threatening her with six months imprisonment and a 10 year re-entry ban to the UK.

‘Why is this important?

‘Pauline and I have been together for three years and happily married for 16 months.

‘Pauline, a Jamaican national, has lived in the UK for over 17 years under a series of Home Office approvals.

‘All her family are here with settled status. Pauline has British grandmothers and her grandfather fought with the Royal Navy in World War 2.

‘A cheerful and likeable person who always puts others first, Pauline has contributed positively to British society, including previously as a qualified carer for elderly people.

‘Voluntary care she has provided over the last year has allowed my aunt to continue living in her own home following a serious car accident.

‘Our application for a spouse visa was refused in September 2017 despite meeting all the eligibility criteria and Pauline was detained at Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre for 24 days.

‘We managed to secure bail with help from the charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID).

‘Just three weeks beforehand the Home Office had given us the go ahead to get married!

‘The matter has been front page news in the local press (first “Shrewsbury bride’s hopes dashed” and then “Wife loses battle to stay in UK”).

‘We were finally able to get married a week after Pauline’s bail.

‘Pauline was subject to serious abuse as a child and has been diagnosed with some debilitating mental health conditions though she always puts on a positive face. Whilst in detention she lost one stone and was placed on suicide watch. The G4S medical team did nothing.

‘Our solicitor submitted a further human rights application which was recently refused.

‘They said no new information had been submitted and there was nothing to stop us from living together in Jamaica.

‘Pauline was told she must leave the country or face up to six months imprisonment and a 10 year re-entry ban.

‘Their decision ignored overwhelming evidence including from Pauline’s psychiatrist and relied on a previous decision more than five years out of date.

‘Our solicitor immediately recommended a Judicial Review.

‘Pauline’s GP is so concerned at her poor treatment that she has referred the matter to the British Medical Council.

‘Dozens of people are being profoundly affected, including vulnerable children and adults. All Pauline’s family are in the UK.

‘As the wife of a British citizen Pauline in theory meets all the requirements for a spouse application submitted from Jamaica but like her previous applications this could take another 16 months to determine with no guarantee of success.

‘Given her current condition I doubt she would last a single day in Jamaica, isolated and cut off from her home and loving family. Is this the way to treat someone with the potential to make such a positive contribution to the UK?

‘Immigration rules must be interpreted with flexibility and compassion.

‘Forcing Pauline out of the country and potentially destroying so many innocent lives is a very severe punishment for someone who has committed no real crime. It has absolutely no regard to human rights.

‘We call on the Home Office to stop interfering with the lives of the thousands of normal people targeted by the hostile environment policy and to reverse this cruel and inhumane decision.’

Meanwhile, the Home Office has been accused of ‘complacency’ and shirking its responsibility in response to the Windrush scandal.

A report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the department had failed to ‘take ownership’ of problems it had created.

The scandal involved wrongful detentions and deportations of some members of the Windrush generation.

The Home Office said it was determined to ‘right the wrongs’ experienced.

PAC chairwoman Meg Hillier said: ‘It is deeply regrettable that a scandal of this magnitude, on the back of repeated and unheeded warnings, does not appear to have fully shaken the Home Office out of its complacency about its systemic and cultural problems.’

The committee of MPs also criticised a decision to exclude up to 160,000 non-Caribbean Commonwealth cases from a review carried out to identify how many people may have been affected.

The review of 11,800 Caribbean cases identified 164 who were removed or detained who might have been resident in the UK before 1973.

But the report warned that the Windrush scandal concerns the entire Commonwealth and other cases could not be ‘simply ignored’.

An estimated 500,000 people now living in the UK who arrived between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries have been called the Windrush generation, in reference to the ship which brought workers to the UK in 1948.