(Queen's Bench Division, Administrative Court; Sullivan J; 5 September 2008)
The claimant had entered the UK lawfully, and had obtained valid leave to remain for herself and her daughter. She later obtained the Secretary of State's permission to marry a man who had been settled in the UK for over 38 years. She then sought permission to remain in the UK as a spouse, but was refused because the cheque sent with the application was bounced by the bank, and by the time the cheque was re-presented and honoured, the claimant's leave to remain had expired. The Secretary of State argued that she and the daughter should be returned to Jamaica, and that the husband could move to Jamaica with them, where they could if they wished re-apply.
No consideration had been given to the impact of removing the claimant and her daughter on their family life and the family life of the claimant's husband. This claimant had not in any way attempted to jump the queue unlawfully. The proposal that the husband return to Jamaica clearly involved interference with their family life, albeit limited, and there was no conceivable justification for it. It was one thing to have a firm and fair immigration policy, another to have an inflexible and rigid system that paid no regard to individual circumstances.