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PLEASE ALLOW KERRY-ANNE TO STAY IN THE UK

This petition had 24,221 supporters


Kerry-Anne Herselman is a 30-year South African woman. She is at risk of being removed by the Home Office to a country where she has nobody to look after her and nowhere to stay. Kerry, who came on an Ancestral Visa, has been living with Kathryn Marshall, her 57-year- old British mother since her arrival in the UK in 2010. I am Kerry’s aunt and I have launched this petition on behalf of her to call on the Home Office to grant Kerry leave to remain in the UK. 

Both Kerry and her mother suffered horrific abuse because of family violence over many years in South Africa. Kerry was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and because of the abuse she suffered is now unable to cope with normal life. She spent the first few years after she arrived in the UK mostly in her room due to chronic depression and even now seldom goes out. Her psychologist's assessment states that she would be unable to cope with a job without having had intensive treatment and the support of her mother. She also has multiple chemical sensitivity which prevents her from going out. Even having to travel to report to the immigration office using public transport has rendered her ill for days, and her doctor wrote to the immigration department asking that they reduce the number of times she had to do this, which they agreed to.

The Immigration department have stated that if Kerry is afraid of suffering further abuse should she go back to South Africa, she could go and live in another town in South Africa and communicate with her family in the UK online; I submit if she did this she would easily be able to be found via social media and her life would be put in danger. In addition to this, her mother, who is a British citizen, would have to give up her job here and return to a dangerous and uncertain future in order to support and take care of her.   

Kerry and her mother have been threatened with a firearm by an abusive family member in South Africa on many occasions; the police were called on numerous occasions and had to remove the firearm for their safety. She and her mother have had to be sheltered on numerous occasions by other family members. This abusive family member even engaged a private detective to find them on one occasion.

Because of her situation, Kerry’s mother has had to work to support both of them on a minimum wage, so there is no money to launch a judicial review. She also has to pay off considerable debt arising from Kerry's application for the right to remain in the UK, which has failed. They are also unable to raise enough money for airfares and accommodation in South Africa.   Kerry has a brother in South Africa, but he is not likely to want to help as the abusive family member would easily find her there as he lives nearby and has regular contact with her brother.

Kerry-Anne would not have the money to access medical care in South Africa.  There is no public health system to speak of and private health care costs are astronomical. The immigration department based one of their decisions on the fact that Kerry Anne had received medical treatment in South Africa in the past, but this was when she was a child and was able to access this through her father's private medical insurance. This would definitely no longer apply as she is an adult.

Kerry-Anne is very close to her other brother who lives just down the road with his British partner and their young daughter, as well as to other members of her extended family here in the UK.

We have a social responsibility to take care of our vulnerable loved ones and I am asking the UK Home Office to use compassion in allowing Mrs. Herselman to take care of her daughter in her time of need. UK immigration have said Kerry-Anne is not entitled by law to remain in the UK and is to return to South Africa with immediate effect,  where she will not be able to get a job or take care of herself in any way, and where in my opinion her life would be in danger.

 



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