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How safe are Britons from laws aimed at foreigners in the face of such stupidity?

Posted by James Hammerton @ 10:17 pm on 1 March, 2007.
Categories political liberties.
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[Hat tip: Pickled Politics]

The Guardian recently reported on a case where a British citizen, born in Blackburn, was detained pending deportation because officials believed he was a foreign national:

Immigration officials assumed that Sabbir Ahmed, who speaks with a Lancashire accent, was Pakistani despite the fact that he was born in Blackburn and has a British passport. His parents come from India but also have British citizenship.

Mr Ahmed, 34, an accountancy student at the University of Leicester, had finished serving a two-month prison sentence for driving while disqualified when he was identified as a foreign national and held for deportation. His case followed a furore over the failure to deport foreign prisoners which cost home secretary Charles Clarke his job last summer.

Mr Ahmed said: “It was so frustrating, it just felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall. I was screaming my innocence to anyone who would listen and they were trying to deport me to a country where I’ve got no ties.”

He was asked to provide documents proving his nationality but was unable to do so because his passport was at his flat in east London and he could not leave Haslar detention centre in Gosport, Hampshire. He was only freed after campaigners from Haslar visitors’ group got access to his flat to recover his documents, and photocopies were shown to a judge at an appeal hearing against the deportation.

How stupid can those who rule over us be? All it would have taken is for someone to check Mr Ahmed’s flat to see if he had the passport.

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