A petition to prevent an elderly and ill Pakistani man from being deported over UK visa issues has gathered more than 22,000 signatures.
Hakeen Muhammad Haleem, 77, has been living with his son Muhammad and his family in Oldham since 2010. He has a number of health issues that require 24-hour care, including dementia, Parkinson’s disease, heart problems, angina and diabetes. He also suffers from poor eyesight.
Muhammad started the petition to appeal to the Home Office to allow his father to stay in the UK.
In it, he wrote: “I have repeatedly assured the Home Office that I and my wife will take full financial responsibility for my father’s welfare and that we have no desire or intention to claim benefits on his behalf.
“We only wish to be allowed to care for our father and provide a safe and loving home for him with us for his remaining years.”
Despite living with the family at their expense, Hakeen – who is widowed and has no one to care for him in Pakistan – is under threat of deportation. His son said that immigration regulations introduced in 2012 now makes it almost impossible for British citizens to bring their elderly parents to the UK, even though his father had been born as a British subject.
The petition calls for the same compassion to be shown to Hakeen as was given to Myrtle Cothill, a 92-year-old South African who was allowed to stay in the UK after a petition against her deportation attracted more than 150,000 signatures.
It is also calling on the Government to reverse the 2012 amendment to the immigration rules, which removed the right for British nationals and people with indefinite leave to remain to bring their parents and dependents over 65 to live with them in the UK and support them at their own expense.