AN IT expert was detained at the airport after flying back from a family holiday – because of changes to his tax returns, MPs have heard.

Sanjeev Pande's passport was confiscated by officials over the paperwork correction and his right to work was removed.

The treatment of the Glasgow University graduate was amongst those highlighted at a charged Westminster Hall debate yesterday as Alison Thewliss MP led the push for justice for highly-skilled migrants stripped of rights and threatened with removal under a controversial clause in immigration rules.

The clause, number 322(5), covers criminality and terrorism but has been invoked by officials to refuse status to people who have corrected paperwork errors and repaid sums where needed.

MPs from around the UK – many visibly outraged – further revealed the true stories of lives "ruined by the Home Office", including brothers penalised for errors worth £1.20 and £1.60, an architect billed £9000 for NHS care pending the birth of his baby and a now-destitute accountant with three children whose church paid her rent to save her from homelessness.

East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton recalled the case of a constituent denied public healthcare one month ahead of the birth of her child and the debate heard how a 15-employee business worth £1.5 million could be wound up unless its founder can secure his future in Britain.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes revealed 300 cases have been reconsidered since the Home Office announced it was to review the use of 322(5) last month, with almost 1700 to go in phase two.

However, she insisted there was no misuse of the clause to drive down immigration figures, saying that the government will "put right" any "genuinely wrong refusals".

But Nokes also said it is "simply wrong" to suggest most are for minor errors, adding that discrepancies of as much as £10,000 have been found in some cases.

She said: "There is a clear pattern that doesn't reflect the stories of minor corrections."

Denying a policy of deliberate refusals, the minister stated: "We welcome those who wish to come here, stay here and take up highly skilled work but people must play by the rules."

Labour's Jess Phillips told how one of her constituents had spent £80,000 fighting to stay in the UK.

Tory Douglas Ross, a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, told how the Home Office had failed to report to specialist panel when it requested information.

The Moray MP went on: "It seems that either a simple mistake or no mistake at all leads to a law abiding immigrant's application being refused out of hand.

"There is no common sense being used."

In her speech, Glasgow Central MP Thewliss said: "I have spoken to many highly skilled migrants, all of whom have been distressed at the way they have been treated, having given the best years of their lives to the UK, made their home here.

"We should be thanking this group, not putting them out."

She went on: "They are doctors, accountants, IT professionals, teachers and academics, to name only a few, and have put down roots and contributed greatly to their communities.

"The UK Government continue to talk about attracting talent, yet their behaviour towards this group shows that they clearly aren’t interested in retaining much of the highly skilled population that is already here, and already well integrated and contributing hugely.

"I urge the minister to take swift action now to support highly skilled migrants who have done us the honour of choosing to live here."