The Home Secretary wrongly deported 48,000 students and 70% of those affected are of Indian origin according to a tribunal.
The scandal began with a BBC Panorama programme in 2014, which investigated the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) that was run by ETS from an East London school. Panorama’s revelation was the catalyst for May revoking 60 educational licences and authorizing mass deportation of past TOEIC certificate holders. In 2014, Immigration minister, James Brokenshire, told the House of Commons that Panorama’s investigation had led to the discovery of “invalid and questionable” tests.
However, on March 23rd 2016, the case was revisited – prompting a contentious ruling by an Upper Tribunal. The Jury found that there had been a disregard for evidence based scrutiny by the government and highlighted the “multiple frailties and shortcomings” of the Home Secretary’s evidence. Furthermore, the tribunal boss, Mr Justice McCloskey, said: “The evidence adduced on behalf of the Secretary of State emerged paled and heavily weakened by the examination to which it was subjected”. This has now established a legal president for victims of wrongful accusations and deportation to come back to the UK and claim compensation from the government due to the disruption this has caused.
Controversially, there have been allegations about the Home Secretary’s political motivations for the mass deportation of students, having been tasked by Prime Minister David Cameron to reduce the immigration quota, but being unable to curtail migration from Europe due to E.U regulations.
Speaking anomonously to Politics.co.uk, a Managing Director at a well regarded higher education college, said of the government’s actions: “its the arbitrary and intimidatory aspect of it. They’ve done nothing wrong… they were treated like criminals”. Echoing such sentiment, Labour MP Keith Vaz argued: “there are many people who speak impeccable English, and who have broken no laws, who have been denied the right to live in the UK”.
In the aftermath of the Upper Tribunal verdict, a Home Office spokesperson, said they the Government was “disappointed” with the ruling and would “consider… an appeal”.