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NewsGhanaian woman wins lawsuit against UK's Home Office

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Ghanaian woman wins lawsuit against UK’s Home Office

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Ghanaian woman Cecilia Adjei has emerged victorious in a legal battle against the UK Home Office regarding her immigration status in the country.

Cecilia Adjei, a mother of two boys aged 17 and 11, joined forces with the charity organization Ramfel to sue the Home Office over its failure to furnish documents to thousands of migrants, herself included, proving their lawful residence in the UK.

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As reported by theguardian.com, the plaintiff contended that despite her status as a healthcare worker who migrated from Ghana to the UK in 2000, she and numerous other migrants applied for visa extensions but were not provided with official documentation affirming their legal presence in the UK while their applications were under review.

The crucial document in question, known as ‘3C leave,’ serves as an automatic form of immigration status during the processing period of visa applications.

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This predicament placed Adjei and fellow immigrants in jeopardy of job loss and hindered their access to higher education, healthcare, and housing rental rights due to the inability to substantiate their lawful presence.

The UK High Court judge presiding over the case, Justice Cavanagh, ruled that the Home Office’s failure to furnish digital proof of status to migrants on 3C leave constituted unlawful conduct.

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“The evidence clearly establishes that a substantial number of those on section 3C leave suffer real hardship through being unable to provide immediate documentary proof of their immigration status and attendant rights.”

“The underlying purpose of the legislative framework is that there should be a hostile and unwelcoming environment for those who are unlawfully present and so who are undocumented. The corollary of this is that those who are lawfully here should not face the hostile environment. That can only happen if they are documented,” he said.

He further emphasized the necessity for the Home Secretary to implement a “simple measure” to alleviate hardship for a substantial segment of the population.

Cecilia Adjei expressed gratitude to the court for its verdict, highlighting the ordeal’s adverse impact on her employment status and her ability to provide for her two children.

“What I went through while waiting for my visa to be extended by the Home Office was really stressful,” she said. “I was unable to prove that I had the right to work so was suspended from my employment as a healthcare support worker twice, without any notice.

“I have two children and have to budget very carefully, so we suffered real hardship when my wages suddenly stopped. I had to borrow money and visit a food bank just to get by. It was humiliating and scary as I didn’t have any way to prove to my employer that I still had the correct immigration status and the right to work.”

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