Florence and Precious Mhango – a campaign to prevent a mother and daughter being deported

By the time you read this, I’ll have been in a rainy Glasgow attending a humanitarian vigil in support of Florence and Precious Mhango.

This mother and her 10 year-old daughter have lived in the city for seven years since Florence left her husband because of his violence towards her. In that time they have become a much loved part of their local community. They currently face imminent deportation to Malawi after being refused asylum in this country.

If they are deported, Precious, who speaks only English, faces being handed over to her father’s family and not allowed to see her mother again. Being sent to complete strangers would be terrifying enough, but not to be able to communicate with them makes it so much worse. At the moment, she is safe and well in Glasgow and the evidence suggests that her welfare would be severely compromised if she were to return to Malawi.

The most immediate issue is that the UK Border Agency is trying to get them to leave before the legal process has been exhausted and I think they should be reassured that they will not be forced to leave before the Court of Appeal hears their case.

I think that the best long-term solution would be for Home Secretary Theresa May to use her discretion to grant them leave to remain in the UK on the grounds of compelling and compassionate circumstances. This could be done quickly and give them peace of mind about their position.

The welcome Supreme Court decision which ended the Discretion Test for LGBT asylum seekers was taken on board by the Government. I think we now have to look more closely at how we treat women asylum seekers who are likely to have little or no status in the legal system in their country of origin.

David Cameron spoke today about how people should have more say about what goes on in their communities. Given the local backing for Precious and Florence, this is an ideal opportunity to put that thinking into practice. They also have unprecedented support across Scottish society. Church leaders and the First Minister wrote a joint letter to the PM asking for them to be allowed to stay.

I feel so strongly about this because my daughter is the same age as Precious. The worst thing you could ever do to me would be to separate me from her, and I think that she feels the same way. Precious is at an age when girls are going through all sorts of transitions which are challenging enough without the prospect of being handed over to strangers.

If you agree with me, you can help the online campaign by writing a blog post, tweeting support using #florenceprecious, or raising awareness on Facebook. I’ve seen these campaigns work before so it’s definitely worth a try.

* Caron Lindsay blogs at Caron’s Musings.

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10 Comments

  • Voice of reason 20th Jul '10 - 12:04am

    Sorry to correct you….

    1) Florence and Precious Mhango did not enter the country as asylum seekers. They only took this on some time later (about three years or thereabouts).

    2) The only reason they are still here in the UK is there constant usage of the procedure of the immigration and appeal system. Otherwise Precious would have been back in her own country almost three years ago.

    3) The idea that Precious will be taken from her mother upon landing in Malawi is ridiculous. This has not been substantiated in any way but is merely a myth that gets trotted out in this particular case. Oh yes I should add that this is confirmed by the Malawians I have spoken too.

    4) As far as the remark “the evidence suggests that her welfare would be severely compromised ” goes, the fact is that NO evidence has been shown in the FIVE hearings into the matter.

    5) Most of the politicians involved are from a party who have a vested interest but have no influence (rightly or wrongly) in the immigration system. It is easy to complain and write to the Home Secretary when you have nothing to lose. Have you noted the politicians that are NOT getting involved in the matter? Perhaps they are representing the views of the voters.

    6) Unfortunately and from time to time the law of the land must be upheld. This case has gone on long enough and I am sick of seeing my hard earned money being wasted by a female who’s honesty was called into question by a very fair judge at one tribunal.

    I have no issue with immigrants and or asylum seekers. What I do have an issue with is the constant gross exaggeration of facts and a failure of a government agency to do their job correctly – which in this case is the removal of immigrants who have failed to meet the required criteria.

    From time to time the law of the land must be upheld and applied i’m afraid!

  • voice of reason 20th Jul '10 - 1:29pm

    Alix,

    My interest is purely on a legal basis and interest. Let me clarify something though.

    I do not believe most immigrants have ever done anything other than good for the UK and/or Scotland. When people start moaning about immigration I respond by saying ” I bet you like a curry though”. That goes along way usually!

    I don’t believe the Mhangos would be bad for Glasgow or Scotland. While the mother appears to be prone to telling tall tales, given the opportunity she would probably contribute as most immigrants do. Unfortunately there is also the law of the land and the potential abuse of an appeals process.

    One of the greatest countries in the world (and please lets not get into an argument over this one) namely the USA is founded on immigrants from all round the world.

    I have an issue with certain immigrant systems such as those practised by Australia eg they may allow say a doctor from a relatively impoverished country but at the same time are depriving that same country of the people required to build or rebuild that same state.

    I am not racist and am not sexist etc. What I am though is a citizen who is getting fed up of listening to constant drivel being trotted out in support of two individuals who refuse to comply with the law. Five hearings/appeals/decisions or whatever – three years of now wasted public money and so on.

    I suspect I am speaking for the majority – though my evidence is limited – like the Mhangos claims!

  • Andrew Suffield 20th Jul '10 - 10:42pm

    I suspect I am speaking for the majority

    Snigger.

  • Voice of reason 20th Jul '10 - 11:52pm

    Andrew,

    You can pass immature comments if you wish but almost everyone I speak too as in the ordinary guy or girl in the street reckon the Mhangos should be kicked out now. I don’t automatically subscribe to that point of view.

    Five hearings before a tribunal and five rejections. Still “sniggering” ?

    If you are Lib Dem (and please excuse me if I have that wrong) then you are barely in the minority let alone the majority although I don’t have to remind you i’m sure.

    Not hard too see why the BNP are on the ascendancy is it ?

    Suggest you grow up.

  • “Not hard too see why the BNP are on the ascendancy is it ?”

    Think you need to look at some election results.

  • Voice of reason 21st Jul '10 - 1:03pm

    Interesting to see that this blog page concerning Precious and Florence Mhango appears to have risen up the Google rankings.

    Should be noted by all that this page is here by way of the Liberal Democrats and speaks volumes for their attitude towards democracy, free speech and open debate. I should add I have never voted for the Lib Dems so I am quite unbiased.

    With regard to the comment regarding the BNP yes I agree they are still showing no serious impact (and I hope it stays that way) but as they attempt to gain respectability and edge closer to the centre and more votes then they will be happy to exploit the situation around Precious and Florence Mhango.

    It is important a balance be kept and free speech encouraged.

  • Re the entire concept of the legal process being exhauasted. This is mega important. To lodge a faulting of the reasoning of a corruptly incomplete decision that ignored half their case’s content, is their absolute automatic right. “The court change” establishes this.

    Court change is a common sense name for a massive democratic advance in the nature of law, that nobody has ever tried to refute is real, but is being kept under a wilful media silence. It urgently helps every asylum seeker. It abolishes finality for any legal decision, so it prevents bent decisions being taken that ignore parts of a case’s evidence or reasoning.

    Since 7 July 1999 all court or other legal decisions are open-endedly faultable on their logic, instead of final. “Open to open-ended fault finding by any party”.Its shifting of power in favour of ordinary people ensures that it has been under a media silence. Nevertheless, it’s on publicly traceable record through petitions 730/99 in the European, PE6 and PE360 in the Scottish, parliaments.

    This follows from my European Court of Human Rights case 41597/98on a scandal of insurance policies requiring evictions of unemployed people from hotels. This case referred to violation of civil status from 13 May 1997, yet the admissibility decision claimed the last stage of decision taken within Britain was on 4 Aug 1995. ECHR has made itself illegal, by issuing a syntactically contradictory nonsense decision that reverses the physics of time, and calling it final. This violates every precedent that ECHR member countries’ laws recognise the chronology of cause and effect, in court evidence.

    Hence, the original ECHR is now, and since then, an illegal entity, because it broke all preexisting precedent that courts recognise the correct order of time, and it claimed a power of finality to issue decisions whose content is a factual impossibility. But for the original ECHR to lapse in this way, also breaches the European Convention’s section on requiring an ECHR to exist. Hence, this section requires the member countries to create a new ECHR that removes the original’s illegality. The source of the illegality being left standing was in the claimed power of final decision. Hence, the only way the new court can remove the illegality is by being constituted such that its decisions are final. If decisions are not final, the only other thing they can be is open-endedly faultable.

    This requires the courts in the member countries to be compatible with open-ended decisions and with doing in-country work connected to them. Hence, legal decisions within the member countries’ courts also cease to be final and become open-ended, in all the Council of Europe countries.

    The concept of “leave to appeal” is abolished and judges no longer have to be crawled to as authority figures. Every party in a case is automatically entitled to lodge a fault finding against any decision, stating reasons. These are further faultable in return, including by the original fault finder, stating reasons. A case reaches its outcome when all fault findings have been answered or accepted.

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