MP John Pugh delighted at victory over Southport child

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Southport MP John Pugh has claimed ‘a victory for common sense’ now that the Home Office has withdrawn its threat to deport 6 year old Jamie Leung of Crossens away from his family.

The Home Office’s Visa & Immigration unit has written to Dr Pugh confirming that they will not seek to deport Canadian-born Jamie – and suggesting options for regularising his status.

Dr Pugh’s senior caseworker Tony Dawson, who has been fighting the case on Jamie’s behalf said:

“The other week, I had a telephone conversation with a senior official in the Home Office. He was still postulating the crazy idea that Jamie could be returned to Canada even though he has no relatives living there.”

“After months and months of writing and talking on Jamie’s behalf, the message appears to have finally ‘gone in’ but some of these officials really do seem to live in a world of their own, divorced from reality.”

“I pointed out to him that the Canadian government would not dream of allowing Jamie to enter the country on such a basis as it would amount to child abuse. I also told him that no court in the UK would consider endorsing the Home Office policy of splitting this young boy from his mother.”

Jamie’s mother, Sarah Diez says:

“My family and I are incredibly relieved at the news that the Home Office have conceded their threat to deport our son, and it’s with mixed emotions that we feel that we can breathe easier. Though the threat is now removed, we are more than frustrated at the resulting aftermath of the Home Office’s ‘process’, and what it has done to our lives in these last 3 horrible months.”

“There have been many sleepless nights and unfair amounts of stress on us, all because we were trying to do what the Home Office advised us to do in the first place. I was told by the Home Office, after the fact, that the letter Jamie received was “Just a form letter”, and that they “Never would dream of removing a child of a British Citizen”, which begs the question: “Why did they ever send that letter to us?””

“There must be some form of discretion exercised in these cases. The Home Office really needs to realise what they are doing to people’s lives under the current badly flawed and inhumane system.”

Dr John Pugh MP says:

“In times where money is tight, the Home Office needs to be looking closely at how it spends its money and what its true objectives are.”

“Worrying children and their parents to death and clogging up the courts with appeals which are bound to be won by the appellant on Human Right basis does not seem appropriate, more importantly it is not morally right.

“I would like to say that this is a ‘one off’ but my own office’s resources have been stretched to support a number of such cases in the past and I have others still open though my constituency of Southport is hardly the immigration hub of the UK. There must be thousands more such cases nationwide.”.

“Labour’s Immigration Minister Dr John Reid famously said that the Immigration Department was “not fit for purpose.” It never became ‘fit for purpose’ under Dr Reid’s own stewardship or his Labour successors and it still appears to be ‘not fit for purpose’ now.”

“If the new Minister for Immigration is prepared to act decisively then the Department’s resources can be freed up to concentrate on those cases \where there is a clear public interest in seeing the subjects concerned removed from our shores.”

” At the moment, one gets the feeling that the files from tens of thousands of these cases are sitting in black plastic bags underneath a desk somewhere while the staff who should be dealing with them are persecuting children like Jamie Leung. I have written, this week, to the Minister seeking assurances of firm action in these matters. The policies causing such poor priorities really have to be stopped.”

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