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Teen's family now face deportation

The entire family of a 19-year-old star pupil threatened with deportation may be sent back to Mauritius with her

The entire family of a 19-year-old star pupil threatened with deportation may be sent back to Mauritius with her, lawyers revealed yesterday.

Yashika Bageerathi was due to be deported to Mauritius on Tuesday but appeared to have won a reprieve after British Airways turned her away from the flight that was supposed to have taken her back.

However the whole family will now have to return after her mother Sowbhagyawatee's own appeal was rejected yesterday.

The family's lawyers confirmed they were presented with a letter from the Home Office notifying them that the appeal had failed.

Her 11-year-old brother Cherish and sister Shaivya, 16, will have to return with their mother.

Ms Bageerathi is a pupil at Oasis Hadley Academy and one of its student ambassadors.

Campaigners have been fighting for Ms Bageerathi and her family not to be forced to go back to Mauritius, where they reportedly face an abusive relative.

National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns co-ordinator Lisa Matthews said: "We are dismayed at the heartless Home Office decision to try to deport Yashika and her family. This appears to be another example of a Home Secretary attempting to be tougher on migrants than the far-right parties in the UK."

Many of the family's supporters also expressed concern over the speed at which the Home Office seems to have reviewed and rejected the two cases in less than 24 hours.

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants chief executive Habib Rahman told the Star: "The Home Office is intent on deporting as many people as it can.

"It ignores people's human rights, it costs the taxpayer exorbitant legal fees and it tears apart families and communities."

Many campaigners have criticised Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May, who has continuously pushed for stricter immigration laws and border control.

Assistant headteacher Sarah Hamilton at Oasis Academy Hadley, where Ms Bageerathi is a pupil, said: "Our students have faith in our justice system but the Home Office have not communicated at all."

Ms Matthews felt that international students are at highest risk.

"That will only increase if the Immigration Bill is passed," she added.

Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell once described the proposed Bill as "the most racist piece of legislation that this country has witnessed since the 1960s."

The Home Office declined to comment on individual cases.


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