Courtesy of the BBC -
A group of retired Gurkhas fighting for the right to settle in Britain have won their immigration test case at London's High Court. They were challenging immigration rules which said that those who retired from the British Army before 1997 did not have an automatic right to stay.
Prominent supporter actress Joanna Lumley said it was a "chance to right a great wrong".
The government said it would now review all Gurkhas' cases.
'Debt of honour'
The regiment moved its main base from Hong Kong to the UK in 1997 and the government had argued that Gurkhas discharged before that date were unlikely to have strong residential ties with the UK. That meant those who wanted to settle in the UK had to apply for British residence and could be refused and deported.
The judgement could affect some 2,000 former Gurkhas who retired before 1997.
The judge, Mr Justice Blake, said the Gurkhas' long service, conspicuous acts of bravery and loyalty to the Crown all pointed to a "moral debt of honour" and gratitude felt by British people.
He ruled that instructions given by the Home Office to immigration officials were unlawful and needed urgent revision.
Lawyer Martin Howe said:
"Today we have seen a tremendous and historic victory for the gallant Gurkha veterans of Nepal. This is a victory that restores honour and dignity to deserving soldiers who faithfully served in Her Majesty's armed forces. It is a victory for common sense; a victory for fairness; and a victory for the British sense of what is right."
All I can say to the judgement is GOOD, it's about bloody time. The people in the Home Office who originally made this decision are a bunch of spineless bastards who wouldn't know what a debt of honour was if it smacked them in the face with a Kukri. To deny these men and their families the right to stay in this country, to work and claim medical and financial benefits that they have more than earned was a disgusting display of hypocrisy, only equalled by the maltreatment of injured service men and women after the closing of military hospitals and treatment centres. There has been a complete breakdown of the Military Covenant by Labour, and they don't care.
We (the Police) deal with more people with 'insufficient ties' to this country every day and yet many are still here, begging, stealing, robbing, committing burglary and generally taking the complete piss with council housing and benefit claims and yet the Home Office will do nothing about it above paying lip service for fear of being branded as racists by people with more than a couple of axes to grind. Immigration won't even try and remand people when we nick them on suspicion of illegal entry any more; they just get released and asked to attend the immigration centre in Croydon in a couple of days time.
Funnily enough not many turn up.
Heaven forbid you're an easy target like a working teacher from Canada (for example) who is known to the immigration system after doing everything right and is easily traceable through tax payments, but was still threatened with removal a couple of weeks before their temporary leave to remain visa expired.
There are people in this country who should not be here in the first place let alone after committing crime. We know that. Everyone else knows that. Yet the Government refuse to deal with it and would rather turn their backs on the problem and disrespect an honourable group of soldiers who have only ever asked to live in the country that they have sworn to defend with their lives. Fifty thousand of whom have done so since their inclusion into the British Army.
Not that it means much, but I take my hat off to Mr Justice Blake for seeing sense, now lets see if the Home Office will do the honourable thing?