Yesterday, just as my wife and I were about to tuck into a delicious Sunday roast at “The Anglers” pub adjacent to Teddington Lock, I received a call from LBC asking me to be a guest on the Andrew Castle show to comment on that morning’s Guardian article, in which they say that there are calls for the Home Secretary to resign over the “Windrush Generation” scandal.
I pointed out to Andrew that in my experience of advising clients on immigration matters for almost 2 decades, I have noticed that in the past 10 years there has been a distinct shift in the independence of the Home Office and in their ability to make decisions based on the law as opposed to the policies/politics of their political masters.
I told Andrew that I was not a Labour supporter, but since the Conservatives came to power they have clearly been determined to meet their commitments of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands. As a result, the starting point for decision makers at the Home Office when receiving an application which does not squarely meet the requirements, is to ask the question “How can we refuse this?”. This I argued was why the Home Office did not adopt a common sense approach to the Windrush problem and instead, wherever possible, refused to allow settlement to those who were clearly entitled to it, under the law.
I pointed out to Andrew that the Home Office should instead apply evenly and consistently the immigration rules, treaties, conventions and jurisprudence of the courts when deciding an application. In simple terms, they should abide by the law.
As a result of the poor decision making of the Home Office, where an applicant has an in-country right of appeal, 50% of those appellants have succeeded before the Immigration Tribunal. This reflects the bias and unfairness of the Home Office when making decisions.