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Judicial Review on removal of EEA nationals for 'rough sleeping' begins

A judicial review challenge to the Home Office’s policy of detaining and deporting rough sleepers from EU countries has been heard in the High Court of England and Wales.  The challenge began on 21st November and lasted for three days.  Judgment is awaited. 
In 2016 the Home Office introduced polices aimed at tightening control over EEA nationals. EEA nationals, mostly from Eastern Europe, found rough sleeping have been designated as misusing their EU free movement rights and subjected to administrative removal action which includes detention pending removal, regardless of whether they are working or not, and regardless of whether or not they have a permanent right of residence.
The Public Interest Unit at Lambeth Law Centre brought the challenge.  It argued that the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 cannot be construed so as to permit this removal action.  It also argued that the removal action was discriminatory. 
Interestingly permission was recently granted for a similar challenge in Northern Ireland.  Conal McGarrity of PA Duffy Solicitors is bringing a challenge to the rough sleeping policy.  Conal will write about his challenge in next month’s edition of PILS’ Newsletter.
Read commentary from the Free Movement blog here.

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