A “bright” and “talented” 19-year-old Mauritian student has spoken of being terrified after being told she will be deported from Britain despite fears for her safety.
Yashika Bageerathi is said to have fled Mauritius with her mother, brother and younger sister in 2012 to escape from a violent relative who had been physically and sexually abusing her.
Earlier this year however, her appeal for asylum in the UK was rejected and she was placed at the Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire pending her deportation.
Ms Bageerathi, who had been living and studying in Southgate, North London, is said to be a talented student who had been accepted by all five universities she had applied at following her A/L’s, including an offer of a scholarship from London’s Queen Mary’s.
She told ITV’s Daybreak: “I’m very frightened because I’m all alone and I have no-one. My life is in danger there, Mauritius is no longer the paradise island that it used to be.”
The head teacher at the Oasis Hadley Academy in Enfield, Lynne Dawes, said Ms Bageerathi was an outstanding student and a “law-abiding student”.
Ms Dawes said: “She’s a fantastic student, a role model and she works incredibly hard. She’s predicted A grades this summer and has offers from Russell Group universities.”
The head teacher praised Ms Bageerathi’s selflessness: “She does one-to-one maths tuition in her spare time and she wants to be a maths teacher. She is willing to do anything and on a wider front, she acts an ambassador for the academy.”
Ms Dawes, who had put Ms Bageerathi’s bail money after her first detention in February, also said that solicitors were working to get a high court injunction to stop the teenager’s deportation.
David Burrowes, MP for Enfield Southgate, where Yashika Bageerathi lives and attends school, previously gave his support to the campaign to stop her being deported as early as Tuesday.
Mr Burrowes said on Twitter: “I am making representations to Home Office Minister today in #FightForYashika I hope common sense and compassion will prevail.”
On Sunday some two hundred people held a demonstration outside the Home Office in London whilst students at Ms Bageerathi’s school have collected more than 17,000 signatures on a change.org petition.
Also on Sunday, the Shadow Immigration Minister called the decision to remove Ms Bageerathi from the UK “very unfair”.
David Handon said: “It seems very unfair for the Home Office to deport Yashika without considering her family circumstances and to deport her alone, given the circumstances of her original move to the UK. I know that representations have been made and I hope the Home Office can review those urgently.”
The Home Office has refused to comment.