“While there is hope, my work continues”, by John Glen (Conservative MP for Salisbury)
Jan 26, 2018 — The following is a reprint of an article written by Reza’s local Salisbury MP, the Rt Hon John Glen, for the Salisbury Journal (Thursday 25th, February). John’s words speak for themselves, and are reproduced here with his kind permission.
“CASEWORK is the heart and soul of what I do as an MP - helping people to deal with a whole range of personal crises and challenges.
Some situations are more complex and fraught than others and it is inevitable that I come to empathise deeply with the dire circumstances in which some constituents find themselves.
This week, for the third time, my staff and I dropped everything to make emergency representations on behalf of the friends of Reza Maghsoudi.
Reza came here from Afghanistan as a child and is now 27. He has been living in Salisbury as an illegal immigrant but has obtained a traineeship as a tailor and has made many dear friends.
Back in November I was glad that my pleas led to the then immigration Minister, Brandon Lewis, halting Reza's deportation so that he could take legal advice.
It is clear to me that over many years Reza has had intermittently taken advice of variable quality and this has damaged the credibility of his story in the eyes of the authorities.
On Monday my office received a panicked call to say that Reza was en route to Heathrow to be put on a flight in less than five hours.
Ironically, simultaneously, legal aid funding was being granted for Reza to pursue a judicial review-usually a reliable sign that there is a valid case to be made.
We scrambled to pull out all the stops – texting, emailing and calling the new immigration minister to ask her to overrule her officials and stop the removal for a second time. Sadly, she felt unable to do so – Reza did not meet the strict criteria for an exception to be made.
It is right that Britain has an asylum policy that is enforced rigorously and consistently. No-one can simply choose the county they want to live in, free from any conditions or provisos. Our laws determine that asylum is granted on the basis of the severity of the threat of persecution that the individual would face if repatriated.
However, overarching rules, even when applied correctly, can be a blunt instrument and I feel deeply for Reza, who has become assimilated to this country and whose memories of Afghanistan are both dim and unpleasant.
So too do I feel for the Salisbury people who have grown to love him for the gentle unassuming young man he is.
So, although Reza is currently in Kabul, my involvement is not at an end. He now has the benefit of committed legal representation. A further appeal is permitted and is under way.
While there is hope, my work continues…”
Salisbury Journal: http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/journalnewsindex/15894362.Refugee_sent_back_to_Afghanistan_after_legal_battle_collapses/
So, to paraphrase John Glen, while there is still hope, our work to help Reza continues.
Please, like John, keep the pressure up on the Home Office and Caroline Nokes, for them to show compassion and sense in Reza case:
Reference: Reza Maghsoudi - Nationality: Afghanistan - HO Ref: M1304028/8 – DOB: 22/12/1990
• Twitter: @carolinenokes
• Facebook: https://facebook.com/carolinenokes4RSN
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Website: www.carolinenokes.com
• Constituency Address
13 Market Place
Tel: 01794 521155
• Parliamentary Address
House of Commons
Tel: 020 7219 7218
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