Home Office Policy of Deporting EU Rough Sleepers ruled Unlawful

The High Court has ruled that a Home Office policy of detaining and removing EU nationals found rough sleeping is unlawful and must be stopped immediately.

The Home Office has been operating the policy since 2016 to tackle the rise in rough sleeping claiming that EU nationals were abusing their freedom of movement rights by coming to the UK “intent on rough sleeping.”

However, in the case of R (Gureckis) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 3298 (Admin), Mrs Justice Lang found the policy to be discriminatory and in breach of freedom of movement rules.

The challenge to the policy was brought by a number of NGOs: the Public Interest Law Unit, Lambeth Law Centre and the AIRE Centre.

The Home Office has confirmed that it will not appeal the decision and has already updated any its official guidance that makes reference to the removal of rough sleepers.

The Court must be commended for standing up for one the most vulnerable groups in our society who were facing deportation because they lacked sufficient money to put a roof of their heads.

The decision is a much needed intervention against Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ which had resulted in even charities set up to support homeless people acting as informants for the Home Office, as was previously reported here.

Many congratulations to all the NGOs involved and their legal teams.

Visadreams.com,  Diary of an Immigration Lawyer, is a blog run by Fahad Ansari, the director and principal solicitor of Riverway Law, a niche UK immigration and nationality law practice based in London.  If you would like any advice or assistance in relation to your immigration matter, please do not hesitate to email me at fahad@riverwaylaw.com or submit your details here.

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