The appellant had entered the UK illegally but met a British national and returned to Columbia to marry him. She was thus granted two years’ leave to enter the UK as his spouse. She operated a small business with a Columbian national. However she later learned that this was a cover for cocaine importation, and her business partner threatened her family in Colombia with reprisals when confronted.
The appellant and her husband were convicted upon guilty pleas for their involvement in the importation. The appellant was thus liable to deportation as a foreign criminal under UK Borders Act 2007, s 32. The Secretary of State made a deportation order, which the appellant argued violated her art 8 right. The First-tier tribunal was of the view that her situation should qualify as an exception to the deportation rule, given her involvement in the community, her genuine marriage and the care she provided to her elderly parents-in-law. However, the Upper Tribunal on appeal said that the tribunal had erred in law by not adequately considering the public interest in deporting foreign criminals.
The Court did not believe that there was a very compelling reason that could outweigh the public interest in deportation in this regard. It agreed with the Upper Tribunal’s holding that it was not open to the First-tier Tribunal to make the decision it did. The Court also denied that the rehabilitation achieved by the appellant was a sufficient factor that would outweigh the public interest in the deportation of foreign criminals.
Raza Husain QC was involved in this case.