20 November 2009
MSP makes UK immigration plea for asylum family
A Glasgow MSP has thrown her support behind an asylum family in an effort to stop their deportation on Monday back to Malawi.
Anne McLaughlin MSP has written to the UK Immigration Minister to complain about the detention of asylum seeker Florence Mhango and her daughter Precious, 10, at Dungavel, Lanarkshire.
The pair, who have been in the UK for more than six years, were taken to the detention centre after attending a routine immigration meeting and are due to be deported on Monday.
Anne McLaughlin MSP said the child faced harm if she returned to Malawi and she urged the UK Home Office to release the family on humanitarian grounds.
She claims the mother and daughter were likely to be separated on their return to Africa, with Precious being taken to live with her father and at risk of possible female genital mutilation.
Ms McLaughlin said: "This is an extremely distressing case. There is no cause for this detention or deportation.”
"This girl has been educated entirely in the UK, she has taken an English name, and knows only Scottish and English culture. She is well integrated in Glasgow...”
Linda Dempster, deputy director of the UK Border Agency in Scotland and Northern Ireland, said The decision to detain a family before removal only happens as a last resort, because the parents refuse to take the opportunity to go home under their own steam with assistance from the UK Home Office and the International Organisation for Migration.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their UK Visa.