Saqib Almas must stay
Sam Almas, who was featured in last week’s Socialist Worker, is launching a campaign to stop the deportation of her brother Saqib.
Despite being a British citizen, Saqib is currently held in Harmondsworth detention centre and threatened with deportation to Pakistan.
Sam wants to campaign for her brother but also to highlight how other families are being caught up in the government’s scaremongering over “foreign criminals”.
“We have to force the government to look again at their policies.” she told Socialist Worker. Saqib’s appeal is due to be heard on 15 June.
New law to strip UK citizenship
Labour ministers have pushed through new powers making it easier for the home secretary to strip people with dual nationality of their British citizenship.
Under sections 56 and 57 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, the home secretary can issue an order to deprive someone of their British nationality if the government considers it “conducive to the public good”.
Previously home secretaries could only do this if the person’s citizenship was “seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the United Kingdom or a British overseas territory”.
There is a convention that the British government may not make someone stateless, so these measures fall on people with dual nationality.
For more information on threats to civil liberties in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 go to www.spy.org.uk/spyblog
Stop deportation of Ernesto Leal
“Naked lunacy” is how writer Irvine Welsh describes the threat to deport Ernesto Leal.
Ernesto’s family were refugees from Pinochet’s Chile in the 1970s. They were sponsored to come to Britain by the National Union of Mineworkers who gave them a house in Fife, Scotland.
Ernesto, now an arts promoter in London, was arrested on 1 May and threatened with deportation to Jamaica, a country where he has no family or friends.
Despite holding a British passport and having been granted indefinite leave to remain, he has been locked in a detention centre and told he will be deported because he served a prison sentence resulting from a fight in a pub.
For more information about the campaign go to www.friendsofernesto.org.uk