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Refugee who illegally brought injured niece to Britain will be allowed to stay in UK

A refugee who illegally brought his badly injured niece to the UK and faced a six-year legal battle as the Home Office tried to deport him will be allowed to remain in Britain.

Najat Ibrahim Ismail, 35, was jailed for assisting illegal entry in 2017 after he collected his niece, who had suffered serious burns after falling into an open fire at a migrant camp in Dunkirk, and smuggled her into Britain.

The Home Office repeatedly fought, and lost, their bid to deport Ismail to Iraq in 2019, with his legal team now successfully arguing he should be allowed to remain in the UK with his family.

Ismail had himself fled persecution and torture in Iraq before arriving in the UK in 2004. He lives in Portsmouth with his British wife and three children.

Najat Ibrahim Ismail, 35, was jailed for assisting illegal entry in 2017 after he collected his niece, who had suffered serious burns after falling into an open fire at a migrant camp in north France, and smuggled her into Britain. Pictured: A makeshift camp in Dunkirk last year

The Home Office repeatedly fought, and lost, their bid to deport Ismail to Iraq in 2019, with his legal team successfully arguing he should be allowed to remain in the UK with his family. Pictured: A group of migrants are brought into Dover in October 2022

The Home Office repeatedly fought, and lost, their bid to deport Ismail to Iraq in 2019, with his legal team successfully arguing he should be allowed to remain in the UK with his family. Pictured: A group of migrants are brought into Dover in October 2022

Rwen Tahsin Ibrahim’s family had fled IS and decided to travel to Northern France where they planned to make the trip across the Channel and reunite with family in Britain. 

Ismail was first informed of his niece’s dire condition in January 2016 as the-then seven-month-old sustained 50% burns at a refugee camp in Dunkirk.

Rwen received emergency treatment in Dunkirk, but her family insisted they were unable to prevent her burns from becoming infected due to the camp’s unsafe conditions.

Ismail then drove to France to collect the baby and her family members, a decision that would cost him his freedom as he was jailed for two years in May 2017.

The presiding judge criticised him for assisting illegal immigration but admitted at trial: ‘I do accept that you were not a person who was trafficking for gain. These were family members you decided to assist’, reports The Guardian.

Since his prison sentence ended, the Home Office has faced a futile battle to deport Ismail, with all three prior attempts blocked at the 11th-hour.

Since his prison sentence ended, the Home Office, headed up by the-then Home Secretary Priti Patel (above) has faced a futile battle to deport Ismail, with all three prior attempts blocked at the 11th-hour

Since his prison sentence ended, the Home Office, headed up by the-then Home Secretary Priti Patel (above) has faced a futile battle to deport Ismail, with all three prior attempts blocked at the 11th-hour

In July, Ismail won an immigration tribunal appeal against his deportation, with the Home Office’s appeal blocked by the courts.

The judge who upheld his appeal said in his judgment that it would be ‘unduly harsh’ to separate him from his family and deport him to Iraq. 

Ismail, who suffers with PTSD and anxiety disorder said he and his family could finally ‘sleep well’ without the risk of deportation looming over their heads.

‘I’m the happiest person in the world and I can’t stop smiling. I can’t thank my solicitor enough. She saved my life.’ 

The Manston detention site has been at the centre of major rows in recent weeks over the number of people being held there, often for several days, and outbreaks of diseases including diphtheria

The Manston detention site has been at the centre of major rows in recent weeks over the number of people being held there, often for several days, and outbreaks of diseases including diphtheria

His solicitor, Hannah Baynes of Duncan Lewis, said: ‘We are very pleased that Najat will be allowed to remain in the UK after so many years of uncertainty.

‘The judge acknowledged that there was a risk of Najat’s mental health deteriorating if he was forced to live separately from his family in Iraq, where he has a well founded fear of persecution.’

Ismail’s leave to remain documents are now being prepared. 

It comes as anti-slavery laws could be amended to stop asylum seekers from ‘gaming the system’.

The move is recommended in a report to be released today. In its foreword, Home Secretary Suella Braverman says Britons are ‘fed up with the continued flouting’ and ‘abuse’ of immigration rules.

The proposal is to amend the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which was passed to combat trafficking but is suspected of being abused.

The number of asylum seekers falsely claiming to be victims of trafficking to avoid being removed is suspected of fuelling a dramatic rise in claims since the legislation was introduced. Albanians, in particular, are thought to be using the ruse.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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