HC Deb 05 June 1980 vol 985 cc1665-6
13. Mr. Freud

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many deportation orders he has signed in respect of foreign nationals under 17 years of age.

Mr. Raison

Information about the number of deportation orders signed in respect of persons under 17 years of age is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate expense. Such cases are, however, very unusual.

Mr. Freud

In view of the ease with which foreign students can obtain entry permits to pursue educational courses in this country—which we welcome—will not the Minister reconsider the Government's current policy of deporting young people in full time education for the technical misdemeanours of their parents, as seems to be the case with my Wisbech constituent?

Mr. Raison

Our belief is that where there is a strong case for deporting the parents—as there is in this case—it really does not make sense to allow an integral member of the family to stay behind. No decision has yet been made to deport Miss Yau, to whom I think the hon. Gentleman was referring. Her parents and her brother are to be deported for overstaying and Miss Yau is being given an opportunity to leave voluntarily with them. Only if she does not do so will deportation be considered.

Mr. James A. Dunn

Does the hon. Gentleman accept that the answer that he has just given provides cause for concern and anxiety? I believe—and I am sure that the hon. Gentleman shares this view—that the sins of the father should never be visited upon the children. Could not the hon. Gentleman's answer be interpreted in the opposite way?

Mr. Raison

We are speaking of a 15-year-old girl and there is absolutely nothing unreasonable in believing that the family should remain together.