The shame of once Great Britain - now we deport American Christians!
19/03/2009

When Socialists like Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown run countries, Christians are in for trouble. In Britain, the crackdown on those who love the Lord gets ever fiercer. In two separate  incidents, American gospel singer Don Francisco and a team of 11  young American Christian missionaries were all deported from the UK.  It  seems that they had fallen foul of new immigration legislation which has  specific sections aimed at religious workers. The shape of things to come....ALAN FRANKLIN.

I have  just discovered the shocking news detailed below. Last month  anti Islamic Dutch politician Geert  Wilders was banned from entering the UK  http://www.ccfon.org/view...php?id=687<http://www.ccfon.org/view.php?id=687>  ...  Now a well known American gospel singer and a team of 11  young American Christian missionaries were all deported from the UK.  

New immigration legislation which has  specific sections aimed at religious workers became law in December but few  people know about it.  Under this system the applicant has to be  sponsored by a licensed sponsorship agency and then apply for a visa.   The ‘agency’, which in this case is likely to be a ministry or church, would have to pay to be registered with the Government and would then pay a fee for  each applicant it sponsors. The applicant would then also need to pay  for his visa.  This rule will apply whether you are applying to come in  for a year or more, or whether it is just for a few days’  ministry. Note: This gives those running Britain total control over who comes in to preach. They do not favor Christians!

 
One well-known ministry had to employ a  lawyer to help fill in the highly complicated application for their team of  foreign volunteers (I believe it is about 50 pages) which can only be done  online and which only permits one mistake before voiding the application and  necessitating a second fee payment.  (This meant that the fee of several  hundred pounds became several thousand pounds to cover the lawyer.) While  clearly this is meant to be a revenue raiser and will rule out anyone without  funds, its complicated nature would also appear to be designed as a  deterrent.  It will have the further effect of giving the powers that be very full details of any ministry which applies.  I gather that  ‘authorized officers’ will then be able to visit and do spot  checks.

 
Don  Francisco, who was only planning to be in Britain for a few days and who had a  return ticket, was not allowed into the country.  If that was true for  him, what about the Christian  leaders and speakers and worship leaders who regularly come in and out to  speak at conferences, meetings etc?  The more high profile, the more  difficult it would be for them to merely say they are here ‘on  holiday’.

INCIDENT  ONE:  Gospel Singer – Don Francisco.  Deported from  Heathrow

 
Don Francisco Refused Entry Into The  UK.   www.rockymountainministries.org <http://www.rockymountainministries.org/>  
On March  1st 2009, Don flew to the UK to visit friends and join rehearsals for the  production "Why Good Friday?" based on his music and written by Brian Harries.  He was detained at Heathrow and then flown back to the states on the grounds  that he didn't have the right paperwork. Don has been ministering in the UK  for over 30 years. For info about the production, please visit www.donfrancisco.co.uk <http://www.donfrancisco.co.uk> .
 
 
Don’s  story below in his own words which I received today in an  email:

"I  arrived at immigration with a new passport since mine had expired the previous  month. I had filled in my occupation as "Gospel singer", the same phrase I had  used for the last 30 years.  When it became obvious that the officer did  not want to let me in, I told him that I had come to England dozens of times  and had never had any problems with entry before.  

He then asked me if I  had my old passport with me to  prove this.  I didn't.  I  thought the last thing I would need was an old expired passport.  He had  me wait while he went to talk to his supervisor and then asked me to follow  him down to baggage claim.  We collected my luggage and he thoroughly  inspected everything I had.  

I then loaded everything on a cart and  followed him back upstairs to a place behind a security door.   He then did a lot of work on a   computer which I couldn't see, took a  digital picture of me, and then tried to get the fingerprinting machine to  work.  He failed.  After that he led me to about a 20x20 foot room  with an observation room next to it with several guards in it.  I was  then offered food and coffee.  One of the sandwiches was so rancid I  had to throw it away.  

While there I made an acquaintance with a  man from Barbados who had been charged with felony.  I was lucky  enough to have some change to help him call for help on a payphone which was  in the room.  After an hour I was led back to the fingerprinting room  where several employees tried to get the machine to work again, but they all  failed.  I was then fingerprinted manually - where a man grabs your  fingers and presses them into ink and onto a piece of paper one by one.   

I was instructed carefully about how to wash my hands.  Then I was led to  another office where a young lady who was obviously uncomfortable with the  task assigned to her, told me I had been refused entry and was going to be put on a plane back to the United States.  She led me back to the lockup  where I reclaimed my luggage.  

I was then led by two armed Guards, one in  front and one behind, through various hallways, elevators and escalators, to a  van on the tarmac.  There was a cage in van and I was instructed to get  in.  The guards were very nice and one of them expressed embarrassment at  my having to ride back there.  They drove me to the British Airways  plane, escorted me onboard where they handed the stewardess an envelope  containing my passport, boarding passes, and other paperwork.  They told  her not to give the envelope to me until the plane was in the air and that I  was not to be allowed to leave before then. I arrived back in Denver at  midnight, 40 hours after I had left home.

I have travelled all over  England and the UK for over 30 years.  My wife and I love the UK very  much.  We have many, many dear friends there.   It is  deeply saddening to us and to the thousands who receive our  newsletter that this has happened. Our office has been flooded with  letters of shock and apology. - Don Francisco
 
 
INCIDENT  Two:  11 young Christian volunteers from Arkansas:  deported from  Edinburgh

 
From The Sunday  Times
 
March  8, 2009

US  volunteers sent home by ‘Godless Scots’

Edinburgh  airport officials have sent a team of American church volunteers home for not  meeting new Home Office visa rules

Simon  Houston
 

A team of American church  volunteers deported from Scotland by immigration officials who told them they  needed work visas to give food to the homeless have branded the decision as  “Godless”.


The volunteers from Arkansas,  who had each raised almost £1,500 to fund the trip, had planned to spend 10  days working in homeless hostels in Edinburgh.


But they were detained after  arriving at Edinburgh Airport last Sunday and sent home on the first available  flight.


Although the 11 volunteers, who  were all in their early twenties, would not have been paid, under new Home  Office rules charity workers must be sponsored by a UK organisation in order  to obtain a temporary work visa.


While the Scottish church group  that arranged the trip had paid £400 for the necessary sponsorship  certificate, it had not been processed in time.


Craig Johnson, 28, an associate  youth pastor with the Harvest Time Church in Arkansas and the leader of the  team, said he was astonished by the decision. “It was the last thing we  expected when we touched down on Scottish soil. We were coming over to do  God’s work and were treated in a less than Godly way,” he  said.


“It just floored me that I can  stay for six months without a visa but if I want to volunteer to work in a  soup kitchen for a couple of nights to help a church, I need to have a visa.  That was what blew me away. I mean, we were hardly a threat to national  security.”


Johnson said his church had been  involved in several missions to other European countries but had never  encountered similar problems with immigration officials. He said: “We take a  team to Europe every year but I think it will be a while before we consider  Scotland again.”


Johnson added that the  volunteers had raised more than £16,000 to fund the trip and that much of the  money had been donated by friends and families. “I now have to explain to my  superiors what happened and try to work out what to say to the parents of the  individuals who came with us and the people who supported them,” he  said.


Reverend Andrew Smith,  superintendent of the Assemblies of God Churches in Scotland, who had  organised the trip, said he had paid £400 to sponsor the visit under UK Border  Agency rules but that the paperwork had not been processed in  time.


“I went to the airport and tried  to explain that we had already applied to be a sponsor and had paid the  necessary £400. I also have paperwork showing that the UK Border Agency had  received the application by February 10,” he said.


“I really hope this doesn’t have  a lasting impression of Scotland on these young people who were coming here to  do unpaid work for a very good cause. The whole episode has been rather  embarrassing.”


Last week Michael Connarty, the  local Labour MP, described the decision to deport the volunteers as  “outrageous”, adding that he would raise the matter with the Home  Office.


A UK Border Agency spokesman  said: “Tier 5 of our new system allows temporary workers to travel to the UK  for non-economic reasons. Individuals who fall under this category are  required to ensure they have the relevant documentation.

 

“All migrants, not just charity  workers, coming to the UK to work or study require a certificate of  sponsorship.”

 
If you  know of other incidents such as these I would be grateful if you would let me  know.  I also urge you to take this up with your MP or anyone you may  know in Parliament.  I believe this is urgent and significant and has  somehow got through Parliament while we were sleeping.  I believe we  should be asking why religious workers are singled out for special  treatment?  Would a secular singer have had a similar problem? Eg Michael  Jackson singing at 02 last week?  I recognize that this in principle  affects all religions, however it seems to me that it is much more likely to  affect Christians than others who may be prepared to be less honest about  their activities.

 
If you  are a ministry or church who invites speakers and guests from abroad I believe  you will need to look into this urgently and in detail and warn anyone already  booked to be aware of this.  As ministries we will have to be prepared to  become sponsors and to consider which of the tiers our contacts may fall  into. We will also have to plan our conferences etc longer in advance to  ensure that our speakers actually do get visas.  

The cases above were  Tier 5 – but each tier requires separate registration.  A Minister of  Religion falls under Tier 2 as ‘a skilled worker’.  The Immigration  website is complicated and does not seem to work properly http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/tier5/religiousworkers   I was keen to get this  out as soon as possible so have copied some relevant material into the  attachment in case you have as much problem as I did getting the website to  work.

 
 


 
 
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