THE TRUE nature of PM May’s ‘hostile environment’ has come to light after it emerged that legislation designed to tackle terrorism has been misused to deport highly skilled teachers, doctors and scientists.
The government yesterday after the underhanded tactic was exposed, finally agreed to stop deporting people through wrongly using anti-terror legislation against completely innocent professionals. The method has been condemned as ‘truly wicked’ and ‘an abuse of power’ by MPs. New Tory Home Secretary Sajid Javid admitted on Tuesday that at least 19 highly skilled professionals from overseas had been forced to leave the country under the rule.
A controversial section 322(5) of the Immigration Act states: ‘It is undesirable to permit the person concerned to enter or remain in the UK because: ‘ • in the view of the Secretary of State, their offending has caused serious harm, or ‘ • in the view of the Secretary of State, they are a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.’ Anyone who makes even a minor amendment to their tax records is being refused Indefinite Leave to Remain as the Home Office then deems they have ‘disregard for the law’.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper, chair of the committee, said: ‘We’ve heard of a series of cases of highly skilled workers, employed in our public services and senior jobs legally for many years, now being told to leave apparently due to minor tax errors. So it is welcome that the Home Secretary is now reviewing all those cases and putting decisions on hold.’ At least 1,000 highly skilled migrants seeking indefinite leave to remain in the UK are facing deportation under the section of the act.
Meanwhile, the Tories are blocking much needed doctors from entering the UK even though they have already been offered jobs in the NHS. This is a ‘form of madness,’ the British Medical Journal (BMJ) said. The BMJ launches a campaign today to scrap the cap on the amount of doctors from overseas given visas and let into the country to work.
Launching the ‘Scrap the Cap’ campaign today, the BMJ called for a review of immigration policies.
More than 1,500 visa applications from doctors with job offers in the UK were refused between December 2017 and March 2018. This is a direct result of the Home Office’s cap on the number of tier 2 visas it issues to workers from outside the European Economic Area.
The campaign demonstrates the strength of feeling against government red tape that prevents doctors who have secured jobs in the NHS from entering the UK. It is anticipated that by the end of May the number of tier 2 visas allowed in within a 6-months’ period will be reached. The result is hundreds of NHS posts remaining unfilled, putting extra pressure on overstretched staff and threatening the care of patients.
This week, NHS trusts across the country have disclosed details of the number of doctors that have been unable to take up posts in their organisation due to having their visa applications rejected by the Home Office. Examples include University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, which has filed 19 tier 2 visa applications for eight doctors from outside the EEA since January 2018 and none have been accepted.