Following reports in the last Messenger Mildred Okpara, who has been supported by local school St Catherine’s, and her young family have been waiting with trepidation for a decision about her latest application for asylum.
The news she has now received is the worst possible.
A letter recently came from the Home Office refusing her application for asylum and telling her that a flight has been booked for her and the children to return to Nigeria on Monday 25th October at 22:20
Just over two weeks ago Mildred made new submissions to the United Kingdom Border Agency. This latest submissions included evidence from
a child psychologist about the effect the threatened deportation is having on the emotional and psychological well-being of Mildred's elder daughter.
a letter from the consultant at the Children's Hospital who treats Mildred's son for asthma. The letter states that he will have major, possibly life threatening, health problems without appropriate medication and medical care.
The submissions also included:
822 signatures on a paper-based petition ( additional to petitions already submitted)
1837 signatures on the on-line petition
71 letters of support from parents, teachers and pupils at her children’s school, her church, people at the various places she has volunteered, and from the wider community
Detailed information about MASSOB (Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra) and their violent activities in Nigeria and the lack of police protection
The Sheffield Branch of the National Union of Teachers is supporting and sponsoring the campaign to keep the family safe in Sheffield.
Mildred is a ‘legacy case’ (an asylum case which pre-dates March 2007) for which special rules and procedures apply. In particular it is possible for her to be granted asylum outside the normal immigration rules. This has been the case for thousands of asylum seekers, many of whom do not have as strong a case as Mildred.
The campaign wants people to write to, email or fax the following people.
Rt. Hon. Mr David Blunkett, 2nd Floor, MidCity House, 17-21 Furnival Gate, Sheffield S1 4QR.
Fax: (0114) 278 0384
Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP, Secretary of State for the Home Office, 2 Marsham St London SW1 4DF.
Fax: 020 7035 4745
Nick Clegg 85 Nethergreen Rd, Sheffield, S11 7EH.
Tel: (0114) 230 9002
Councillor Paul Scriven, Leader, Sheffield City Council, Town Hall, Pinstone Street, Sheffield S1 2HH.
Fax: (0114) 2736644
It doesn't matter if you are not in Nick Clegg's constituency. The important thing is that as many people as possible make urgent responses so that the family's deportation can be halted.
A sample model letter is attached (see below), but please try to compose your own version if you have time.
The campaign asks you to act quickly – this is very urgent