A SCOTSMAN married to an Argentinian woman who was locked up in an immigration detention centre for almost three weeks yesterday thanked The National after his wife was released.

Cyntia Lencinas was refused entry to the UK after she and Charly Garcia arrived in Glasgow to visit his parents while on their way to Australia.

The 33-year-old was taken to Dungavel, where she spent 18 days, before being released late on Monday.

Garcia, 44, told The National: “I can’t thank you enough – you, The National and our lawyer Usman Aslam. I don’t know what we’d have done without your help.

“I’d like to thank you for everything you have done for both of us, and bringing this injustice to the attention of the public.”

The couple had flown from Uruguay via Brazil and New York to Glasgow and intended visiting his parents and tidying up some loose ends before heading to Australia. However, after she was detained their visas were cancelled.

READ MORE: Wife passing through UK for Australia trip sent to Dungavel

“Once you’re in Australia you apply for a study visa and pay the course a year up front, and Cyntia was going to do an English course, which allows you to work, but it has to be done from inside Australia,” said Garcia.

“Cyntia’s got all the correspondence from Australia that she was allowed to work while she was a student. We’re going to chase the Australian authorities to see why the visas were cancelled.

The National:

“We’ve never been anything more than honest, we went in there twice this year and we’ve never overstayed a visa anywhere. This has taken the wind out of our sails. That is where our future is.

“The Home Office have intervened with this one – the decision was announced the very next day after a woman Border Force officer at Glasgow gave me three days to book flights out of the UK.

“But then she told me she’d do everything in her power to make sure we never lived our dreams in Australia. She put a real spanner in the works.”

Garcia said Dungavel has taken mental and physical toll on his wife. She had been locked up with some people who were trying to take their own lives. Some took part in rooftop protests and others were on hunger strikes.

“It’s a drain mentally, physically, emotionally, everything,” he said. “Cyntia’s a very positive person, we both are, but there comes a point where it all just hits.

“She was so down one day she could hardly get out of bed – she usually goes to the gym and she’d put herself down for English classes to make the most of a bad situation, but it’s the energy and I told Usman I was genuinely worried for Cyntia’s well-being.

“Why do they have the right to take away people’s freedom like this. They say it’s the rules, but it’s the rules that are drawn up by England.

“It hasn’t been a nice experience for either of us. It hasn’t changed Cyntia’s view of Scots – she can tell the difference between us and the English because we’re friendlier.”

Aslam said: “McGlashan MacKay are delighted that Cyntia has been released from detention. This is a great result.

The National:

“We now hope to smooth matters out with the Home Office and assist our client by challenging the decision refusing Cyntia entry as a visitor.

“Hopefully the end result will be that Cyntia can come in and out of the UK as a visitor to see her in-laws, without the fear of being detained.”

Stuart McDonald, the SNP spokesperson on immigration, who also became involved in the case and raised it with the Home Office, added: “This is welcome news and is long overdue – indeed, Cyntia should never have been in Dungavel to begin with.

“We still await an explanation from the Home Office as to why this ludicrous situation occurred in the first place and it exemplifies some of the many problems with the UK’s ideologically driven immigration system.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We do not routinely comment on individual cases.”