A friend of mine, born and raised in a devout Muslim family in Iran, has lived in this country for five years, during which time his son, who turns 14 this month is thriving in the British education system. A few years back, he refused to take the easy option for obtaining British citizenship by marrying his then partner, who I suspect would have jumped at the opportunity, and also refused to plead for ‘political asylum’.
My friend, though quite spiritual, is no longer a Muslim despite coming from a family in which there have been a surfeit of mullahs and ayatollahs. He had no desire for his son to be raised within the religious restraints of his home country and, so arrived here on a visitors permit. No attempt has been made to hide his presence here, frequent applications being made for permission to stay.
He has skills in Bio-medical engineering and computer sciences and, is qualified as a nurse/anaesthetist, all of which could be a great asset to our society. His elder brother is a British citizen. A couple of years after my friend’s arrival in this country, his ex-wife came over here having married a British citizen and already has the right to remain here. The son, however, continues by choice to live with his father, whilst reluctantly visiting his mother for a couple of weeks in the year.
When my friend appealed for the right to remain in this country he was told that there was no case to be made until he was asked to leave! At the same time no work permit was allowed as he did not have the right to reside here. After the first year here he was no longer allowed to drive as, despite being an experienced driver, they refused to allow him even a provisional license.
Last month, he was summoned to a tribunal, the judgement from which has just been announced. On human rights grounds his son can remain in the UK and continue his education but, the father (who has raised him from the age of three) must return to Iran. Surely, on human rights grounds, the father should be allowed to remain with his son, and be granted a work permit into the bargain.
And we wonder why there are illegal immigrants in this country!