Deportation of one-year-old may be illegal

An EU ruling found that deporting a foreign mother who is the sole carer of a child with EU citizenship is a violation of the child’s rights

The deportation yesterday of a Taiwanese woman and her one-year-old daughter, who has Danish citizenship, may have broken European law, reports Berlingske newspaper.

Luise Cheng-Ting Lee is married to Danish citizen Benny Kristian Andersen and together have a child, Emma, who was born on Bornholm last year.

Andersen suffers from the immunological disease sarcoidosis which two years ago rendered him unable to work and led him to claim the unemployment benefit kontanthjælp.

READ MORE: Special law saves Thai girl but hundreds aren't so lucky

Unable to care for family
As a result, the Immigration Service found that Andersen is unable to provide for his family and thus denied his wife family reunification.

The decision – which has split up the family as Andersen is too sick to accompany the two to Taiwan – may violate EU law according to legal expert Eva Ersbøll from the Danish Institute for Human Rights.

This is because of the so-called Zambrano case in 2011, when the EU courts found that it is against the law to deny residency to a foreign citizen who is the sole care provider of a child who has citizenship in the relevant country.

EU ruling won't help
“If Emma has to leave the country because her father can’t take care of her, and because her mother can’t gain residency, the child loses one its central rights: the right to live in the territory of the union,” Ersbøll told Berlingske.

Andersen might not to able to look forward to the return of his wife and child any time soon, however, as the government in May 2011 interpreted the Zambrano case in such a way that it could only be used to grant residency in very few cases.

READ MORE: "Shameful" deportation enforcement aimed at children

Im was lucky
Andersen’s case follows in the wake of the government’s decision on Wednesday to draft a special law to allow a seven-year-old Thai girl and her mother to return to Denmark.

Im and Suthida Nielsen moved to Denmark four years ago when Suthida married a Dane, but were told to leave after he died of cancer.

This turn-around was exceptional, however, and Mimi Jakobsen, the head of the children's charity Red Barnet, Save the Children's Danish wing, said there are hundreds of other children who have been "tragically separated from their parents".

Jakobsen and Ersbøll both want immigration laws to be reviewed so that there is a greater focus of the child's best interests in these types of immigration cases.