North East resident speaks out on deportation experience

SR News has investigated the case of a young man in the North East who is facing the prospect of being deported from the UK after losing his third appeal to remain in the country.

The man has just turned 18 and has been in the country for five years since the age of 13. He was placed straight into care, having no family or relatives to stay with. He was moved into this country because his home country, Somalia, was going through a very brutal civil war that is still happening today.

The war began in 2009 between the Federal Government of Somalia, assisted by African Union peacekeeping troops, and various militant terrorist groups and factions. This resulted in several children leaving their families and homes to a safer place, including this North East resident who prefers not to be named.

However, as he arrived into the UK as an asylum seeker (someone leaving their home country due to ongoing war), and because he has now turned 18, he can no longer be considered a child so he faces the prospect of being deported.

Citizens Advice state that every person is given the right to provide evidence as to why they should stay in the UK but if the evidence is rejected or deemed not good enough, you have two choices, leave voluntarily, or be administratively removed.

If you choose to leave voluntarily you can return to the UK after 1-5 years but if you’re administratively removed (deported) you face the prospect of being banned for 10 years. These are prospects this young North East resident faces.

If he pays for himself to leave the UK, then he can appeal to come back to the UK after one year out of the country. If he cannot afford to pay for his own journey he can apply for a “Voluntary departure” which will help him pay for his departure and would not result in being forcibly removed.

If he were to voluntarily leave the UK, without paying himself, he can apply to return after two years if he leaves the country within 6 months of losing his final appeal. Any longer than six months and he will have to wait at least 5 years before applying to return back to the UK.

Speaking on his initial appeals to stay in the UK and whether he feels this issue is handled correctly in the North East he said: “In my opinion, no, because the barrister or lawyers that accompanied me, they know what judge is good and what judge is bad”

According to the North East resident, once reaching the age of 18, it is far harder to make a case to stay in the UK, and this has put his prospects of going to university and continuing his education impossible, as his priority is now his relocation.

For reasons he did not give in detail, this man, 18, is also being located to a country that he has never been to, rather than his home country. He said on this: “They try and send [you] to the country [you] say [you’re] not from or a country that is theirs but they came here as an asylum.”

Your appeal is more likely to be approved if you can prove one or more of the following (this is according to Citizens Advice.)

  • you have strong connections and family in the UK
  • the original decision racially discriminates against you
  • going back to your home country would be unsafe
  • the decision breaks the law or immigration rules

However, the North East resident believes it comes down to more than just those four key areas, he outlines his personal experience with how his case had been handled, and how he had been affected by the appeals process:

“I think the appeal process needs work because most of the time it’s the same Judges who keep making a case worse. Before I went to the court, the barrister told me that the judge – the barristers know what type of judge they are, so if the judge is bad (has rejected more appeals than approved), they’ll tell you straight up and then you will lose hope.”

“Losing your appeal three times – fine. But then at the same time, they tend to stop all the services that you used to get like money.”

On a final note about the appeals process, the source said: “Your life lies on someone who’s going to make a decision of yes or no. If it’s a yes then happy days. If it’s a no then your life is properly messed up.”

As the young man has lost his appeal three times, he now has to leave the country within the next year or be forcibly removed, to a country he has never lived in because Somalia is still war-torn.

According to statistics provided by The Migration Observatory, in 2017, asylum seekers made up just 16% of recorded removals and departures.  This was a rise of almost 5% since 2016. Though the total amount of removals and departures fell from 35,509 in 2016 to 27,235 in 2017.

The statistics also show that the biggest amount of departures by world region is Asia, with 13, 168 being from this region, compared to 4,412 from Africa. These figures have declined since 2016,  people from the Asian region had 19,039 removals whereas people from the African region saw 5,452 departures or removals from the UK.

SR News contacted the home office to gather comments on the deportation process, but they were unable to comment at this time.




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