My name is Donna. (not her real name),
I was brought over to England when I was 12, by my mum who already had leave to remain here. I grew up mainly with an auntie, however, because mum was always busy just trying to get by. As a result, no-one ever applied for me to have the right to remain here.
I went to secondary school and made lots of friends, and I decided that when I was 18 I would get my status sorted once and for all so that I could work and settle down. Technically, I had still only spent one third of my life in the UK, but in terms of growing up and forming lasting relationships, it was the most significant third.
The Home Office refused my application, even though I had the support of my MP and several others in my local community. When I appealed and tried to take matters further, they appeared to have lost my paperwork. This situation continued for two or three years. I was now living with my mum, but in limbo.
Then I had a baby. My relationship with my boyfriend is completely genuine, although lately we’ve been finding things very difficult. He also lives at home with his parents, and naturally I am the main carer for our little girl. Now she is nearly three years old.
My immigration status is still not sorted out. My UK-born daughter has a right to stay here and she needs me to look after her. But the response to my most recent appeal is still negative. Realistically I have no-one to turn to back in my country of origin, even though technically I have family there.
beforetheriot’s comment: Surely the solution to this situation is self-evident? Donna is, in fact, an extremely positive contributor to the local community, and a strong mother. She has now spent half her life here in the UK. She is not “on the take” “a cheat” or “lazy” in any way.
The anomalous nature of her status here is due to someone else’s error when she was younger. Probably, back then, she would have been included in her mother’s permission to remain. It’s not good enough for the Home Office to say “Our hands are tied; this is the policy; you have no right to remain.” In fact, due to her daughter, she does have a right to stay.
Increasingly, these situations come down to a battle of wills. Getting legal advice and support through the process is increasingly expensive not only because fees continue to rise, but also because funding to community law charities for this kind of case has been severely restricted.
But there really should be no battle at all. It is simply wrong of our government to be sending her back. She and her daughter are innocent victims of mistakes or misjudgements that were made in the past.
What do you think?