Asian family who set up business face deportation
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Thursday 10 September 1992
The Home Office said yesterday that they had failed to show they were capable of investing pounds 150,000 each, the sum required under immigration regulations that would allow them to remain in Britain.
The rigorous application of UK immigration laws which would mean Zambian-born sisters, Sophia and Rashida Mohamed, and their brother Muslim, having to find a total of pounds 450,000 to in effect buy their continued UK residence, has been branded as bureaucratic 'extortion' by a leading Scottish Conservative businessman.
Arthur Bell, chairman of the Scottish Tory Reform Group, who also serves on the board of the Lanarkshire Development Agency, has been supporting the Mohameds' case since the Home Office first indicated the family faced being deported after a final appeal failed in July this year.
Mr Mohamed, 28, came to the UK when he was 12 years of age, graduating in accounting and finance from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. His sisters came to Britain as visitors in 1989 and started a pickling business in Motherwell. The firm, Hawkins Foods, now employs five people.
Dierdre Haigh, the Mohameds' solicitor, from the Edinburgh firm of Shepherd and Wedderburn, admitted Sophia, 31, and Rashida, 40, had never extended their visitors' visas.
Mrs Haigh said that although an independent adjudicator heard the Mohameds' appeal and turned it down, no evidence had been heard and only recommendations were taken. Mr Bell, one of a number of witnesses lined up for the appeal, was not called.
Mr Mohamed's health is complicating the case. He has a rare liver and blood disorder which requires transfusions every fortnight. If he were sent back to Zambia - where treatment is not available - it would be 'like a death sentence', Mrs Haigh said.
The Home Office said the medical aspects of Mr Mohamed's case were 'being looked at and would be taken into account'. The case is in effect in abeyance until all medical evidence is examined. However, Mr Mohamed has said should he be allowed to remain and his sisters told to leave, then he would leave as well.
Their father, who holds a British passport but not one with automatic right of abode, came to Britain earlier this year from Zambia.
In February Mr Mohamed was given a settlement visa by the Home Office. He learned recently that his business in Zambia was earning no income and his home had been stripped. Mrs Haigh said: 'They really have nothing to return to. They have prepared a business plan for the Home Office which is a pounds 30,000 investment.'
Mr Bell said the Mohameds were being asked to leave the country by 'bungling bureaucrats who know nothing about economic growth. You don't invest pounds 450,000 in a small pickling business - you invest that sum in a chemical factory.' Letters of appeal from local MPs, both Conservative and Labour, have been sent to the Prime Minister.
The Microsoft mogul told fans a few home truths during his Reddit AMA
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Teenager brandishing fake gun taken down by police after demanding airtime on Netherlands' NOS TV station
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...
£21000 - £40000 per annum + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 tea...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£120 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: The Humanities Department of this ...