Monday, June 23, 2008

Can we apply a touch of Humanism on this case Minister Liam Byrne?

A petition demanding that a South African woman be allowed to stay in Dundee is to be delivered to Immigration Minister Liam Byrne

About 3,500 people have signed the document in support of 25-year-old Josie Pasane, who faces being deported. Ms Pasane claims that her application for permanent residency had been rejected after she was given incorrect advice by immigration officials.

Her mother and younger sister are being allowed to remain in the UK.

'Politely pleading'

The family have been in the country since 2001. In that time Ms Pasane has graduated from Abertay University and managed to get a job - although her employment is now on hold because of the visa wrangle.

In 2004, the family decided they wanted to settle permanently in the UK. However, it would have cost £1,500 for all three to apply, so only Ms Pasane's mother and sister applied.

Ms Pasane was told she could wait until her visa expired in 2008.

However, her application was rejected in January and an appeal in June was also unsuccessful.

The reasons for the rejection were that she was over 18 and no longer dependent on her mother. Her father and an older sister also live in South Africa.

Ms Pasane then realised she had filled out a form designed for those wanting to come to the UK, not those already in the country

She said: "Scotland has been my home for the past seven years. I don't have a home in South Africa, my father is estranged and my sister is married and she has her own family back in South Africa.

"This is where I consider my home and would like to further my career opportunities and be with my family.

"I'm just pleading with the Home Office to not split up my family. I haven't done anything wrong and I'm just politely pleading with them to look outside the immigration rules and to accept me to be with my family."

Ms Pasane added that her case had been dealt with in an "unfair and unjust way" and she should not be punished for being given the wrong information.

The petition will be handed to Mr Byrne by Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie on Tuesday.

He said: "This is a family who've been here for many years. Josie in particular has worked hard, studied at Abertay University, she's got herself started in a new job.

"For what appears to be confusion in the Home Office the family's going to be separated and Josie's going to be deported to South Africa. That's completely wrong and they need to overturn the decision."

A UK Border Agency spokesperson said: "We do not comment on individual cases.

"All applications for further leave to remain are thoroughly considered by expert case-workers, taking into account all the individual circumstances.

"Where a person has been refused further leave to remain, there is a full right of appeal against the decision to the independent Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.

"An Immigration judge will fully consider all aspects of the case

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