Recently, my family, friends and I were involved in a fierce battle to keep my family unit together here in the UK. We won.
The UK Home Office had denied me Leave To Remain in the UK. They claimed my situation lacked compassionate grounds to be granted Leave to Remain outside of the UK Immigration Rules.
Apparently, the heart attack of a British Citizen, a two year old British toddler , an 89 year old British Granny who also wrote a supporting letter in my application, are not Compassionate enough grounds.
Apparently, being self supporting, owing no bills, not depending on the state for anything, but Giving Back to the society by volunteering at Dementia Care Homes, toddler groups, Commonwealth programs, to mention but a few isn’t enough to prove we (I) am an asset to any community or country. I shouldn’t have had to blow up with a foghorn the good deeds that I did. It demeans the spirit it was done in. But, we were forced to.
According to the HO, I’m over the age of 18 and 25, have lived in Nigeria all my life and therefore can be reintegrated into Nigeria, while my husband, who has an 89 year old mother living a 10 minute walk from us, has been deemed to have emotional support to help him and our 2 year old British son survive without me.
Our son’s right to a family life and security was so blatantly ignored. It hurt. It was okay for the UK Government to condemn the American immigration laws but do the very same back home?
Should love be within borders?
The question people are asking the UK Home Office Secretary is, “Why are Genuine British Families being threatened like this? Where’s the compassion, consideration and sensitivity?”
Do you know that there are over 130,000 cases like ours on Change.org asking the Home Office to reconsider its bureaucratic stance? Do you know that over 120,00 families are forcefully split up by the UK Home Office? I’m not talking about “illegal immigrants”. Isn’t this an astonishing number? And this doesn’t include the families who cower away in silence afraid to fight for their RIGHTS. The numbers of those are even more astounding! During our fight, we came in contact with a group called Reunite Families UK. Their goal is to challenge and abolish the UK HO hostile environment.
Why is it okay for The UK Home Office to split up families and expect parents to bring up their children via Skype and social media?
Why is it okay to push families like ours to air our laundry in public in a bid to get the attention of the Home Office?
No, it’s not right.
Why is it okay for The UK Home Office to charge such exorbitant fees that are non refundable and not even consider each application CAREFULLY and without bias?
Why is it okay to make applicants wait for at least 6 months before they are told of the fate of their application? By which time the pressure does irreparable things to them? In my case, it led to a miscarriage.
The family is the first civilisation and community a child is introduced into. From the family, the child learns moral, ethical and social lessons. The child learns about love and responsibility. Break this up and you have a civilisation full of crime and conceited, uncaring people.
The power of the press is staggering. A true case of the pen being mightier than the sword.
I thank you all who have supported our fight. You won this for us. HUMANITY WON! In all of this, we’ve come to learn that there really is incredible power in unity and numbers.
We rest easy now that the battle is over. I feel like I’ve only just awoken from a long coma and now have to learn how to live and plan properly for tomorrow without fear of disruption. I look at only son with pride and peace, knowing I would never be forcefully taken from him by the HO. I’m free to build him a legacy of strength, love and compassion.
I look at my husband with love, confident that we can hold our family together in joy and peace. Without the shadow of the HO darkening our horizon.
This is freedom.
And I’m free to explore new vistas, write and promote my books, start new businesses and above all, volunteer freely to make life’s better.
SOME FIGHTS ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR! If you are caught in an immigration nightmare like we were, know that there are people out there rooting for you. Fight smart and strong. Get a lawyer like ours Naheed Akhtar, who believes in your case and is a terrier. And above all, SPEAK UP!
I am Valentina Hynes #thevoiceinyourhead