Saturday, January 14, 2006

A Load of Hogwarts

The Daily Telegraph today carries the sad story of Elizabeth Louis.
'Betz', as the Telegraph quotes both her boyfriend and his father describing her, is from Cincinnati, and was deported upon arrival in the UK on January 12 when immigration officials discovered an entry in her diary.
The Telegraph reports ,
"The entry stated that on a previous visit she had been offered a job with a multi-national bank but had not been able to accept it because she did not have the correct visa. She had also written that she had hoped to be able to find work in Britain."
It also quotes her boyfriend as saying,
"Betz was held back and I sat with her for seven hours while they searched our bags. When she was here last year she was offered a job as a PA at J P Morgan, but because we could not secure a work visa she had to decline the job"; and,
"The diary entry was made at the beginning of her visit last year. She never actually looked for a job in the end. On this visit she had no intention of working. I have been supporting her. It seems wrong to chuck her out because of a diary entry."
It quotes his father as saying,
"It has been a complete mess. I don't know what was said in the interview between Betz and immigration but the technicality on which she was sent back was minuscule".
Now, in an ideal world immigration officials would have the latitude to be able to discriminate between applicants for entry - but they do not. Rules is rules is rules, whether those inconvenienced by them like them or not, and acknowledging the existence of a breach of the rules by any person seeking entry to the UK, regardless of their country of origin or their existing connections to British citizens, kind of invalidates whatever moral case you want to put forward on their behalf.
It's all down to that inconvenient old concept called 'the rule of law', you see, something one would have thought a newspaper like the 'Daily Telegraph' would be more interested in promoting than undermining.
The Telegraph reports that Betz and her partner met in a Harry Potter chatroom. Quite appropriate really, given that its story is a load of hogwarts.