Legally Expelling Long-Term (30 years) Migrant

When you as a Non-German have been living here for more than 30 years, do you think it is legal, especially under EHRC to be expelled? Well the European Court of Human Rights gave us its opinion on its judgment (complaint no. 10.606/07) of January 8, 2009.


The Jamaican Joseph Grant has lived in the UK for more than 30 years. His whole family is now in UK and nobody in Jamaica. Tough he did not live with any other member of his family, he allegedly frequently visited his niece and nephew. Joseph had been sentenced several times for shoplifting, with damage to property, attack on a constable. Later, he was sentenced to 15 months prison for drug trafficking. Due to the last crime, the Minister of the Interior deprived him of his entitlement to live in UK. And this list of crimes committed continued almost endlessly.

Joe argued against the expulsion that it was illegal because of his close and intense family relationships. This infringes art. 8 EHRC. The court held the expulsion as consistent with the protection of one's private and family life. The court emphasized the sheer number of convicted offences and the very short time span during which the offences occurred. Joseph was warned that if he again came to the adverse attention of the immigration authorities, he would be at risk of deportation. Nevertheless, he continued habitually to re-offend. The Court considered Joseph's defence that these convictions resulted from his drug addiction. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the applicant has addressed this underlying problem."

The Court accepted that the applicant has lived for a considerable length of time in the UK, although it could not be said that he spent the major part of his childhood or youth there. His mother and two of his brothers live in the United Kingdom, and he has fathered four children, all of whom are British citizens. He also has a grandchild by his eldest son. These circumstances show to the satisfaction of the Court that he has strong ties with the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, the fact cannot overlooked that he has never cohabited with any of his children. Three of his children have now reached the age of majority, and although the applicant remains in contact with them, they are in no way dependent upon him. His youngest daughter, with whom the Court has found that he enjoyed family life in the United Kingdom, currently resides with her mother and her mother's husband. Without underestimating the disruptive effect that the applicant's deportation has had, and will continue to have, on his daughter's life, it is unlikely to have had the same impact as it would if the applicant and his daughter had been living together as a family. Contact by telephone and e-mail could easily be maintained from Jamaica, and there would be nothing to prevent her, or indeed any of the applicant's children or relatives in the United Kingdom, from travelling to Jamaica to visit him.

inally the court declares, that Joseph should be permitted to apply to renter the United Kingdom at the latest three years after his departure. The foreigners offices is entitled to ban reentry to Germany in cases like these.


Though this decision is directly referring to UK, it is nevertheless applicable to Germany, as Germany has signed this treaty. Therefore Germany can be taken to this court, too.


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