The behaviour of government departments in charge of immigration and asylum across Europe repeatedly demonstrate the truth of the late Robert Conquest’s maxim — his “third law of politics” — that the simplest way to explain the behaviour of any bureaucratic organisation “is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies”.
Last week it was reported in the Catholic Herald that a nun who was driven out of the town of Qaraqosh, on the Nineveh plains in Iraq, has been forbidden to visit her ill sister in the United Kingdom. Sister Ban Madleen was among those Christians who were forced to flee the largest Christian town in the area when ISIS entered it in 2014. She was among the thousands of Christians who fled the approaching jihadists and found refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan. There, she set up kindergartens to look after the children of other refugees who had also sought sanctuary in the Kurdish areas. A letter, seen by the Catholic Herald, from the UK Visa and Immigration division at the UK Home Office, stated that Sister Ban had not given evidence of her earnings as a kindergarten principal or shown enough evidence that her order of nuns would fund her visit.
The UK Home Office noted that Sister Ban had previously travelled to the UK and had on those occasions always complied with the terms of her visa. However, the Home Office pointed out that her visa was issued seven years ago, in 2011, and noted her lack of recent travel to the UK. It shows no understanding of why her recent travel might have been limited. Such as the possibility that events such as the rise of ISIS, the attempted annihilation of Iraq’s Christian community and that community’s quasi-Biblical flight to safety in the Kurdish regions might explain the nun’s otherwise inexplicable absence from the UK?
In any event, the letter claims that for these reasons, the UK authorities are not satisfied that Sister Ban’s appeal to visit her sick sister is genuine. Therefore, she is denied entry, with “no right of appeal or right to administrative review.”