Statement re unsuccessful immigration enforcement action

15 May 2021

Lawyers acting for the two men are still investigating the full background to the case,

Mr Lakhvir Singh and Mr Sumit Sehdev are both in their thirties and of Indian origin. At the time that they were detained neither had active legal representation. A legal observer from Positive Action in Housing arranged legal representation with Glasgow Solicitors Jelina Berlow Rahman of Jelina Rahman & CO and Jalal Chaudhry of Latta & Co, and their cases are currently being investigated.

Lawyer Jelina Berlow Rahman, who has been instructed to represent Mr Singh, said: 

“Lakhvir Singh has been here since 2008, a substantial period of time, therefore in my opinion he still has a right to a private life, a family life. It was evident yesterday, the number of people who came together, that was his community, that was neighbours, that was his friends – the majority of people knew him.”

Robina Qureshi, Director of refugee and migrant homelessness charity Positive Action in Housing, said:

“The Home Office have referred to these men as illegal. The term illegal in this context is part of the hostile environment. It’s not appropriate to use it for people who have lived in the UK for several years, and are part of a community. 

“The men now have legal representation, and are in the process of trying to regularise their status.The fact that they had no active legal representation before means they were left vulnerable. This is about two innocent people trying to build a new life. And what’s wrong with that? 

“Scotland needs people to contribute to its tax base. We should as a society be helping people to contribute those taxes, not criminalise them for having hopes and aspirations that fit with the needs of this society. 

“Dawn raid vans have no place going into communities dragging innocent people from their homes. They are not, categorically not, criminals. Police Scotland should be focussing on going after real criminals, not innocent people without the right piece of paper.

”We refute suggestions that they are somehow “illegal”. That is in keeping with the Home Secretary’s Hostile view of refugees and migrants. Her view has zero place in a progressive society.

“ The “Kenmure Street Van Man” who crawled under the immigration enforcement van and played for time to stop this inhuman detention deserves a humanitarian award. He seeks no recognition or anything. Even more reason to celebrate this young man and the Sterling humanitarian work of the No Evictions Network.”

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