Kenmure Street: 'This is about two innocent people trying to build a new life': Men released by immigration officials after Glasgow protest make legal bid to contest deportation

Two men, who were released from an immigration van after their neighbours and community stopped the vehicle from leaving their street, have now got legal representation to contest the Home Office’s decision to deport them.

Mr Lakhvir Singh and Mr Sumit Sehdev were detained in a morning raid on their home in Kenmure Street by UK immigration services.

Before the van could leave the street, their neighbours and community had mobilised to stop the vehicle from leaving, with one man spending almost eight hours lying underneath it.

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Eventually, the two men were released to the cheers and chants of the surrounding crowds.

Kenmure Street: 'This is about two innocent people trying to build a new life': Men released by immigration officials after Glasgow protest make legal bid to contest deportation

Glasgow based refugee charity Positive Action has released a statement saying that Mr Singh and Mr Sehdev now both have legal representation to help them contest the Home Office’s decision.

Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing, said: “The Home Office have referred to these men as illegal.

"The term illegal in this context is part of the hostile environment.

"It’s not appropriate to use it for people who have lived in the UK for several years, and are part of a community.

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“The men now have legal representation, and are in the process of trying to regularise their status.

"The fact that they had no active legal representation before means they were left vulnerable.

"This is about two innocent people trying to build a new life. And what’s wrong with that?

“Scotland needs people to contribute to its tax base.

"We should as a society be helping people to contribute those taxes, not criminalise them for having hopes and aspirations that fit with the needs of this society.

“Dawn raid vans have no place going into communities dragging innocent people from their homes. They are not, categorically not, criminals."

Lawyer Jelina Berlow Rahman, who has been instructed to represent Mr Singh, said: “Lakhvir Singh has been here since 2008, a substantial period of time, therefore in my opinion he still has a right to a private life, a family life.

"It was evident yesterday, the number of people who came together, that was his community, that was neighbours, that was his friends – the majority of people knew him.”

The legal teams are continuing to look into the circumstances around the case of Mr Singh and Mr Sehdev.

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