This is a disgrace.
LCpl Isimeli Baleiwai, known as ‘Bale’ to his friends, is facing deportation from the UK after serving 13 years with the British Armed Forces. Bale is a foreign and commonwealth soldier from Fiji who was recruited by the MOD when he was 18.
He has served in 5 operational tours including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. His wife Kim is British and they have two young children a boy of 3 and a girl of 6; both British. Bale left the Army voluntarily to provide stability for his family.
He applied for British Citizenship in March while still a serving soldier, but was refused FFS! He appealed the decision, but received a letter from UKBA on 14/07/2012 stating he had until 9th August 2012 to leave the country. LCpl Bale was fined in 2011 after appearing on CO’s Orders for fighting with another soldier who instigated the fight. This was a purely military affair – which many of those of us who have served will know all about – there was no police involvement, no trial and no criminal conviction and therefore no criminal record.
However, ‘kin civvies have decide that, under changes made to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1973 (ROA) in 2010 disciplinary offences dealt with at the Commanding Officer’s discretion can now be equated to a criminal conviction.
Under the changes made to ROA in 2010 Bale is now defined as a criminal by the Home Office and of not good character to become a British citizen or apply for indefinite leave to remain – so they’re going to chuck him out.
I’m loathe to shout ‘racist,’ but the changes made to the Act will have no impact on his ‘home grown’ mates because these military offences are not held on a criminal record. This change only has implications to immigration Law and Policy. The family believe the law and policy is discriminative – and remember, LCP Bale’s wife is British, as are his two children.
I would be grateful for any support you might feel able to show for LCple Bale and his family while their their lives are in such turmoil. Bale has been told he has until the 9th August 2012 to leave the Country.
The Home Office has been using this ‘Law’ to deport Foreign and Commonwealth soldiers who have been medically discharged as well. This is a disgrace, particularly when you think that, firstly, any Tom, Dick or Ari can turn up on these shores – legally or otherwise – and be showered with benefits covering rent, maybe in a million pound property in London, living, fuel, health, education… while LCpl Bale’s family are faced with destitution. It is also worth noting that at least one terrorist, up to eight killers and rapists, 20 robbers and eight paedophiles were given permission to stay in this country by the Home Office without even appearing in court because of their right to a family life – the very same right that is being withheld from LCple Bale on the flimsiest of grounds.
There has also been plenty of publicity about how the Armed Forces have dug the ‘kin gubmint out of their lates hole, the cock-up over security for the Olympics. The troops get the crap, and this is how they are repaid…
If you feel able, please go to this page and add your support for LCpl Bale. If, after hearing LCpl Bale’s story, you feel as strongly as I do, or at all, it is very easy to write to your MP using this page.