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UKIP leader Nigel Farage has spoken out against the poor treatment of Commonwealth servicemen, and called for an immigration rule change following news of the moves to deport a Fijian-born war hero.
Mr Farage said: "The story of Isimeli Baleiwai, the Fijian soldier known as 'Bale', who served with the Royal Scottish Regiment and REME for 13 years, is married to an English wife and has a child, but is threatened with deportation in early August for a minor misdemeanour while in the army is a disgrace to anybody who hopes to be proud of this country. And this is only the tip of a humiliating iceberg of similar cases."
He continues: "Current law is a disgraceful dichotomy, in that we in this country cannot deport rapists and murderers back to their own countries due to EU and Human Rights Law, but in the case of someone who has put his life on the line for our country, and is a Commonwealth citizen to boot, this Government is happy to see him turfed out."
"Only last week Sani Adil Ali, a Sudanese convicted child rapist, was allowed to stay in the UK to protect his human rights. We know of any number of excuses under the right to a family life to keep criminals in this country, but Bale, who has a very real family, is to be deported.
"If we had any sense of honour, which this Government obviously has not, or any sense of justice, which the Home Office obviously has not, Bale and others would be safe and secure in the arms of his family, with the grateful thanks of our nation for over a decade spent in khaki, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and the Balkans."
"Instead he and many like him are treated like dirt by our authorities. Today over 7,000 members of the services are foreign, mostly Commonwealth nationals. Dozens have died wearing our uniform in recent years. This case will harm recruitment, breaks the vaunted 'Military Covenant' and further damages morale."
Farage also noted, "UKIP call on the Government to let Bale stay, we call on it to completely revisit the law on deportation of those Foreign and Commonwealth citizens who have served in our forces, and demand that this Government introduce a new fast track Service nationality application based on the US Military Green card system, by which someone who serves in our armed forces is, if they wish given fast track citizenship".
"I would hope that as many people as possible from all parties and none who care about decency and this country's reputation for fair play to write to their MP and the Prime Minister, support the Veterans Aid campaign and sign Bale's petition to allow him to stay."
The petition can be veiwed here.
Adapted from story at http://ukip.org
(Pictured: Nigel Farage)