Grant UK citizenship to Kelvin Bilal Fawaz

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The parents of Kelvin Bilal Fawaz were originally from Lebanon and the Benin Republic. They migrated to Nigeria but did not take up residency there, Kelvin was brought to the UK at 14 by an uncle from Nigeria who told him his father would pick him up.

His father never appeared and he was made a domestic slave, being forced to cook and clean for a family and never leave the house.

He eventually ran away at the age of 15, and was put into care by social services.

Kelvin has boxed for our country six times and currently holds the London middleweight title.

Ranked number 4 in the amateur boxing association Fawaz was chosen to represent Team GB in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, but was unable to because he has no passport.

Kelvin has been unable to move from amateur boxing to a professional level because of his situation which also means he is not permitted to work or claim benefits. He cites this as the reason his marriage ended in 2014 as he could not support his then wife.

His manager Aamir Ali, 44, director at Stonebridge Boxing Club in Brent, north west London, said Kelvin helps youngsters in the gym.

He said: “He is a role model to all the kids in the gym. He works extremely hard.

“He has been handed a lottery ticket, and not been able to cash it in.

“He has seen the whole world move around him, and he is just stuck there in one place. Every time there is a little bit of hope, he gets let down.”

Kelvin has been held in Tinsley House immigration removal centre in Gatwick since his leave to remain ran out.

Stuck in bureaucratic limbo, having been rebuffed by the Nigerian embassy, this man who has represented us and would have represented us at the Olympics languishes in a detention centre.

The Home Office advice was to apply for a judicial review, and then bail before going to court but this would cost thousands of pounds for someone the same Government  will not allow to work or claim benefits.

He was offered a contract by boxing promoter Frank Warren, but could not sign it as he could not get a work permit.

Kelvin said: “All my friends in boxing, they are earning hundreds of thousands, and I cannot earn anything.

“If I was given a work permit, I have a significant way to survive. I will represent the country, I will become a world champion.

“This is my destiny. When I box, I feel like my whole worries are washed away. I feel like I am at home. I just want a chance, one chance. I am a person who has a talent.

“But I cannot do any of that. It’s like I am in a prison here. I am wearing my Team GB tracksuit in here, and everyone is looking at me, saying ‘wow, it’s crazy how you boxed for a country and they locked you up in a detention centre’.

“I have been here since I am 14. I don’t know anything else, this is the only place I know. This is my home. I just want to be able to survive, have a family, provide food for myself.”



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