Article @ Morning Star, published 23 March 2015
Britain’s “callous” Home Office is threatening to deport two seriously disabled children after their Bangladeshi parents abandoned them with a British family, campaigners warned yesterday as they stepped up their fight to keep the pair in London.
Profoundly deaf siblings Samian and Anisa were visiting distant relatives in Poplar in January 2013 when their parents left during the night.
The 12 and 14-year-olds have been fostered by their mother’s family with the support of local authorities and are attending specialist schools in Wandsworth.
But under Home Secretary Theresa May’s draconian new immigration laws the two children face an uncertain future.
As of yesterday, close to 1,900 had signed a petition organised by local trade unionists and campaigners demanding that the children be allowed to stay.
“As members of the local community, we demand that Anisa and Samian are allowed to stay in the UK where they have an established network of care, support, friendship and specialist schooling which meets their communication and educational needs,” it reads.
Local Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick is said to be “urgently” investigating the case.
National Union of Teachers east London secretary Alex Kenny branded the proposed deportation “inhumane.”
He said: “They have access to first-class support for deaf children and their families and face an uncertain future if they are deported.
“They must be allowed indefinite leave to stay.
”And Trade Union and Socialist Coalition candidate for nearby Bethnal Green & Bow Glynn Robbins added: “It’s disgusting that the Home Office is treating these vulnerable children in this callous way.”
He told the Star: “As one of the signatories to the online petition has said: ‘Not in my name’.”
Unison Tower Hamlets branch secretary John McLoughlin said: “This is a case that cries out for the use of discretion to allow these vulnerable young people to remain.
“They have established carers here and the beginnings of an education that can transform their possibilities.
“These will be torn from them if they are deported back to Bangladesh.”
An appeal hearing is set to take place March 30.
The foster family and the children have said that they do not know the whereabouts of their parents, but the government — without presenting any evidence — has argued they are lying and plans to review their case.
The petition can be found at http://tinyurl.com/q4o33ce.