Support Irish Citizenship for Irish-born boy facing removal to Nigeria by Home Office
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Favour is a Nigerian lady who was trafficked to Italy and forced into prostitution there, having been told that she was going to work in a tomato canning factory. She became pregnant and was taken by car to a hospital in Italy for a forced abortion. When she got to the hospital, she managed to escape from her captors.
She eventually made her way to Dublin in March 2006, where she claimed asylum. She gave birth to her son in the Rotunda in Dublin in August 2006. Mother and son found themselves in the “direct provision” system in the Republic. Conditions were below subsistence standard. Favour became depressed, while her son missed out on formal schooling, became isolated and prone to outbursts. After a full 7 years of waiting for her asylum claim to be dealt with, Favour decided that for the sake of her son, she needed to come up to Belfast. She claimed asylum in the UK in May 2013. She and her son have done well here.
Her son is thriving and doing really well in school. Favour is well known in the local community and spends a lot of time volunteering at the food bank. However, her asylum claim has been rejected several times, with the High Court recently refusing to grant leave to seek judicial review of the last decision by the Home Office to reject her further submissions. As a result, the Home Office is now gearing up to remove mother and son to Nigeria.
Her son has never been off the island of Ireland and only speaks English (with a strong Belfast accent).
Favour’s parents are both dead and she has no contact with extended family. She will not be able to raise the money to put her son into school in Nigeria. Favour herself has health issues, physical and mental, which would prevent her from working if she had the right to.
As removal to Nigeria would be disastrous for both, we are now making a Form 11 application to the Department of Justice and Equality in Dublin to have Favour's son made a naturalised Irish citizen, which would enable both mother and son to stay. Favour is obliged to report to the Home Office in Belfast on Monday morning and will need to make further submissions which, if strong enough, would ensure a stay on the removal.
We are also launching this petition to gather support for her son obtaining Irish citizenship, and to put pressure on the Minister of Justice and Equality to grant it. The Form 11 application is a discretionary form but the criteria is that the applicant should live in the Republic of Ireland for 4 out of the last 8 years in the State, and for one year immediately prior to applying. Favour's son has the 4 years but does not have the one year prior to application.
Please provide your support to Favour's son. He was born in Dublin because his mother came to Ireland as safe haven after a terrible ordeal. He was failed by the Direct Provision system as a result of which he was denied both protection and education. The governments in the Republic of Ireland and the UK have failed this boy at every turn. And now he is at imminent risk of being sent to a country that he has never known, the culture of which is entirely foreign to him. Favour's son is Irish.
Please support him and keep him on the island of Ireland where he belongs.
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