A 75-year-old American woman using a Zimmer frame who is unable to digest solid food has won her petition to stay in the UK after living here for 53 years.
The Home Office tried to deport Polly Gordon after serving a 12-month sentence for delivering a controlled drug. He was convicted of a crime in July 2019 in the Sheriff Court of Edinburgh. According to a ruling by the Immigration Court, he has a history of substance abuse and alcohol dependence.
Gordon first appealed to the Department of the Interior’s plans to deport him to America, a country where he had not lived at the age of 20, in the first-instance court of the Immigration Court.
The judge acknowledged that Gordon was weak and disabled and had a number of health problems, including atrial fibrillation, colitis, difficulty eating solid food, and that he had recently suffered from shingles.
He said: “I think because of his age and weakness, he feels the impact of leaving his homeland in the last five decades more than most.”
He also admitted that he could not get into U.S. government health care programs because he had lived outside of his native country for more than five decades. He added that his risk of recidivism was “relatively small (but not trivial).”
However, in her verdict, she agreed with the Interior Ministry that the woman should be deported.
Gordon continued to appeal to the Higher Court of the Immigration Court, and three senior judges there have been able to side with him, allowing him to remain in the UK after discovering that the first judge erred in law in calculating his prison sentence.
Higher Court judges found that Gordon, who had been granted a temporary residence permit in the UK in 1977, had lived legally in the UK for most of his life and was socially and culturally integrated into living here in the UK.
They accepted that his crime was at the lower end of the scale.
Since his first complaint, Gordon’s health has been further impaired as he fractured as a result of a fall and spent six weeks in hospital in March and April. Since then, she has had to use the Zimmer frame and trust friends to help her shop.
The judges ruled that Gordon’s deportation would disproportionately violate his human rights and ruled that he should be allowed to remain in the UK.
Karen Doyle of the Movement For Justice condemned the Home Office’s plans to deport Gordon.
“Nothing more clearly describes the inhumanity of the Home Office than their plan to put an elderly and sick woman on a plane where she hasn’t lived since the 1960s. The Home Office considers people like her low fruit. That’s how the Windrush generation was seen.”
An opinion has been requested from the Ministry of the Interior.