A 75-year-old American who uses a Zimmer frame and is unable to digest solid foods, won her appeal to stay in the UK after living here for 53 years.
The Home Office attempted to deport Polly Gordon after serving a 12-month sentence for supplying a controlled drug. She was convicted of the offense in July 2019 by Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court. According to an immigration court ruling, she has a history of drug addiction and alcohol dependence.
Gordon first appealed against Home Office plans to deport her to America, a country she has not lived in since her early twenties, in the lower court of the tribunal. immigration.
The judge acknowledged that Gordon was fragile, of limited mobility and suffered from a variety of health conditions including atrial fibrillation, colitis, difficulty consuming solid foods and that he had recently suffered from shingles.
He said: “I guess given her age and disability she will feel the impact of leaving her home country more than most over the past five decades.”
He also accepted that she would not be able to access U.S. government health programs because she had lived outside her country of birth for more than five decades. He added that his risk of recurrence was “relatively low (but not negligible)”.
However, in his judgment, he agreed with the Home Office that she should be deported.
Gordon appealed to the upper court of the Immigration Court where three senior judges ruled in his favor, allowing him to remain in the UK after finding that the first judge had erred in law in the way he had calculated his prison sentence.
The judges of the higher court found that Gordon, who had been granted unlimited stay in the UK in 1977, had legally resided in the UK for most of his life and was socially and culturally integrated into life in the UK -United.
They admitted that his offense was at the lower end of the offense scale.
Since his first call, Gordon’s health has deteriorated further after breaking his knee from a fall and spending six weeks in hospital in March and April. Since then, she has needed to use a walker and has to rely on friends to help her with her purchases.
The judges concluded that Gordon’s deportation would disproportionately infringe her human rights and ruled that she should be allowed to stay in the UK.
Karen Doyle of the Movement For Justice organization condemned the Home Office’s plan to evict Gordon.
“There is nothing that illustrates the inhumanity of the Home Office more clearly than their plans to put an elderly and crippled woman on a plane to a country she has not lived in since the 1960s. people like her are considered handy fruit by the Home Office. This is exactly how the Windrush generation was viewed.
The Interior Ministry has been approached for comment.