BRITAIN’S border controls were thrown into farcical mayhem after top judges ruled people can simply bypass immigration law by ADOPTING people from other countries.
The Government’s ability to control immigration from outside the European Union was dealt a hammer blow by the ruling, which effectively means ministers now have no say over how many children enter the UK.
It also means no youngster under the age of 18 can be deported from Britain – even after they become an adult – if it would not be in their best interests to leave.
The ruling also raises the possibility British families could choose to adopt refugee children from Syria as a way of circumventing David Cameron’s plans to cap the number of people the UK takes.
A panel of top judges admitted Home Secretary Theresa May would be “concerned” by their decision, but said the only way to reverse it would be for parliament to change the law.
They stated the welfare of children “throughout their lives” must outweigh the need to enforce effective immigration controls.
The ruling will spark panic throughout Whitehall, coming at a time when the Government is already facing a serious credibility crisis over immigration.
David Cameron’s infamous pledge to bring net migration down to tens of thousands a year has already disintegrated and the raging European migrant crisis shows no sign of abating.
The ruling came when a panel of top judges were deciding a verdict of the case of an 18-year-old Pakistani youth who the Government had been trying to deport.
The youngster arrived in Britain for what was billed as a family visit in 2012 after his parents split up.
He went to live with his 44-year-old aunt and her two sons, but in a “flagrant breach” of immigration controls he outstayed his visitor’s visa and refused to return to Pakistan.
When border police tried to deport the boy his aunt applied to adopt him so that he would become a British citizen.
Her application was refused by a senior judge, who ruled the child’s father had brought him to Britain under the false pretence of a family visit visa specifically “for the purposes of adoption”.
The youngster lost his appeal against that decision today, but judges made it clear this was only because he had turned 18 by the time his case got to court and was therefore no longer a minor.
And in a ruling set to strike fear into the hearts of Home Office staff they made it clear that, had the boy still been 17, he would have been granted adoption and indefinite leave to remain in Britain.
Lord Justice Sales agreed the boy’s continued presence in Britain was a “flagrant breach of immigration controls” but said the law requires family judges to focus exclusively on the welfare of children throughout their lives.
That means legal teams could successfully argue that a youngster facing deportation should not denied adoption because they may face hardship in their country of origin at any point over the course of their life.
Pointing to the “practical benefits” of British citizenship, the judge said acquiring it automatically on adoption would clearly “promote the welfare” of many immigrant children.
He ruled: “It will not be appropriate for a court to refuse to make the (adoption) order as some sort of indirect means of reinforcing immigration controls. I can readily see that the Secretary of State for the Home Department might be concerned by this result. But if she wishes the courts to have the ability to give greater weight to considerations of immigration policy in the context of deciding whether an adoption order should be made, she will need to persuade Parliament to change (the law) to allow that to happen.”
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