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Sanade and Others (British Children – Zambrano) [2012]

Section 32 of the UK Borders Act 2007 provides that where a person is sentenced to imprisonment of 12 months or more, he must be deported unless he falls within one of the statutory exceptions. One of the exceptions is Article 8 of the ECHR; the right to respect for private and family life. Recently 3 cases came before an Immigration judge which all concerned a father of a young child who is a British citizen where the father has resisted deportation on human rights grounds.

Mr Sanade was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for indecent assault on a patient. Mr Harrison was sentenced to 7 years for conspiracy to supply a Class A drug (cocaine) and for being in possession of a taser stun gun firearm.  Mr Walker received cautions for theft, possession of cannabis and a sharp pointed object in a public place. He was convicted of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply and was sentence to 5 years imprisonment.

In the case of Zambrano, the expulsion of their Colombian parents (not citizens of the Union) amounted to the children’s constructive expulsion from the Union. And so one of the questions to be discused in Sanade and Others was whether their families would also be required to leave the UK. As British citizens, Mrs Sanade and her children the Court held they are entitled to reside in the Union.

The court decided that Mr Sanade’s conduct was not so serious that it was regarded as proportionate to the legitimate aim in his case to require him to leave his wife and young children for an indefinite period unless and until the deportation order can be revoked. His appeal was allowed.

In the cases for Mr Harrison and Mr Walker, the court decided that deportation was justified in support in of the legitimate aim on the facts of this appeal. Their appeals were refused.  In cases of the importation and supply of significant quantities of Class A drugs, in particular, Strasbourghas recognised why states show great severity to such foreign offenders. This has long been the policy of the Secretary of State and recognised as such by the UK Courts.

The existence of these convictions owned by Harrison and Walker carried considerable weight. In these cases it was decided that the removal of the appellants will not require the children or spouse to follow. The Court said that each of the children are not accordingly dependent on their fathers for the exercise of their Union rights of residence and removal of the fathers will not deprive them of the effective exercise of that right of residence in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in the Union. The Court also said that removal of the fathers did not mean that the children would lose contact with them.

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