UK & World News
Govt Rules Out U-Turn On Student's Deportation
The Home Office says it will not reconsider a deportation order on Mauritian student Yashika Bageerathi despite a huge campaign to keep her in the UK.
The 19-year-old was due to sit her A-level exams in May, and an online petition calling for her deportation order to be overturned has now received more than 170,000 signatures.
David Hanson, the shadow immigration minister, asked Home Office immigration minister James Brokenshire an Urgent Question in the Commons on Monday, calling for the student to remain in the country.
He asked the Government to show some "common sense and compassion" and order her release from Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre, near Bedford, where she has been held since March 19.
Mr Brokenshire said Miss Bageerathi's case had been "considered carefully" and had gone through the "proper legal process".
The Home Office's decision that she does not need protection from violence or persecution in her homeland had been upheld, he said, and he confirmed the Home Office would not be stepping in to prevent the deportation.
At the weekend, Miss Bageerathi told Sky News about her despair, as investigators probed the death of a fellow immigration centre detainee.
Miss Bageerathi said she feared she could be deported at any time despite being given another last-minute reprieve. She had expected to be returned to her home country on Sunday, but late on Saturday she was told by the Home Office that she would not be on board the Air Mauritus flight from Heathrow.
Her supporters believe she was spared the journey because the airline had refused to fly her back.
Lynne Dawes, the principal of Oasis Academy Hadley school in north London, which Miss Bageerathi attends, told Sky News: "We believe now that Air Mauritius refused to fly her."
It comes after British Airways appeared to refuse to allow her to board a flight from Gatwick Airport last week.
Miss Bageerathi came to the UK in 2011 with her mother and two younger siblings to escape alleged physical abuse by a relative, and claimed asylum in the summer of 2013.
At school she was described as a first-class student, until she was detained at Yarl's Wood on March 19.
The Home Office is investigating the "sudden" and "unexplained" death of a 40-year-old woman at Yarl's Wood on Sunday.