The Court of Appeal has rejected the Home Secretary’s efforts to deport a man who has been resident in the UK for more than 60 years. Benedetto Vassallo came to the UK from Italy when he was four in 1952. He had married a British woman, has British children and grandchildren and, having only returned to Italy once for a holiday in the early 1970s, speaks little Italian and cannot read it.
His legal challenge against deportation was allowed by the First-tier Tribunal and was upheld by the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). Although Mr Vassallo had numerous criminal convictions in the UK for dishonesty offences, Lord Justice Richards upheld the finding that his conduct could not be considered “a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society,” meaning that there were no sufficient grounds to deport him. His deportation would not have been proportionate.
The Court left open the possibility that permanent residence could be acquired on the basis of residence before the relevant regulations came into being, and even before the United Kingdom had acceded to the European Union.
More information can be found in the judgment: Secretary of State for the Home Department v Benedetto Vassallo,  EWCA Civ 13.