(LONDON, ENGLAND) — A Lebanese man with down syndrome who has lived in London for the past 17 years is facing deportation since the recent death of his parents.
Wadih Chourey, 44, came to London after seeking refuge from abuse in Beirut, where he was reportedly victimized and encouraged to commit crimes by Beirut-based gangs.
His parents brought him to Twickenham, southwest London in 1997 to escape abuse, where he has since lived. Chourey’s parents reportedly applied for leave to remain in the UK, but the application was refused and his family lodged an appeal.
After their death, Chourey moved into his brother’s home, Camil, 52, who said Chourey would not be able to care for himself in Lebanon. Chourey cannot work, but helps Camil and his other brother Joseph in their bakery, Joseph’s Patisserie.
“All applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules. Mr. Chourey failed to meet the necessary requirements. The decision to refuse his application has been backed up by the courts,” said an unidentified spokesperson.
Vince Cable, the business secretary of the Home Office and MP for Twickenham, said the decision to pursue the case was “inhumane.”
“There are large numbers of cases of abuse of the immigration rule and I think the public expects the government and the Home Office to get to grips with them,” he told the BBC. “But not cases like this. It’s a terrible waste of their resources and it’s fundamentally inhumane, and I think it illustrates how the immigration system often fails.”
Cable went on to call the actions “disgraceful.”
“This is a man who cannot cook for himself, who cannot operate a washing machine or use a computer,” he added.
Colin Marsh, chairman of the local residents’ association, said the family are “very much part of our community” and that Camil and Joseph are “respected” and “admired” for their care for Wadih.
More than 70,000 people have since signed an online petition calling on home secretary Theresa May to block the attempted deportation.