Deportation

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Flo
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Joined: 11-12-05
Dec 11 2005 14:52
Deportation

Model citizen faces deportation

(9/12/05) An asylum seeker who has spent the past five years dedicated to helping HIV/AIDS sufferers in Manchester, is under threat of being deported to Kosovo, where he believes his life to be in danger.

UNISON member Perparim Demaj fled to the UK in 1998, two days before Serbian forces invaded Kosovo. He quickly learned English and, after a time as a voluntary home carer, joined Manchester city council as an HIV/AIDS support worker.

Despite the new life Demaj has created for himself, and his continued fears for his safety in Kosovo, the Home Office has denied indefinite leave to remain – and informed him that he can now be deported at any time.

The civil servants have also insisted that the council sack him from his job and denied the authority’s request that he be granted a work permit.

“It is disgraceful that someone who has contributed so much to the community and paid taxes for four and a half years should be left destitute and forced out of the country,” said UNISON assistant branch secretary Wendy Allison.

“If Perparim is sent back to Kosovo there is a very real prospect that he could lose his life,” she added. “At the same time, his former colleagues, service users, friends and local community feel they also have much to lose if he goes.

“He has made a big impact on so many people, a lot of whom are vulnerable and often forgotten by society. As well as his job with HIV/AIDS suffers, he has done a lot of voluntary work, he teaches English – for free – at the school where he learnt English himself, and he does translation work for the Kosovan Albanian community.”

Allison is the chair of the Perparim Demaj Must Stay Campaign, which has been working in the media and with MPs, in a bid to persuade the Home Office to grant discretionary leave to remain.

And the council has made it clear that there is a job waiting for him should the campaign be successful. Council leader Richard Leese called Demaj “the kind of citizen we would like all our citizens to be”.

One irony of Demaj’s fate, said Allison, was that councils everywhere are struggling to find good social workers.

“There are recruitment problems throughout social services. Here we have a really skilled and highly valued worker – and we’re telling him to leave.”

Anyone wishing to help with the campaign in some way can contact Wendy Allison at w.allison@manchester.gov.uk

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Steven.
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Joined: 27-06-06
Dec 11 2005 15:29

Hi Flo, thanks for letting us know about this. For stuff like this though, in future it might be best to post it to www.libcom.org/news

Welcome to the boards, anway 8)