#Human Rights
Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP - Home Secretary
United Kingdom

Since Beatrice Botomani, her daughter, Ellen, (17) and her son, Wells, (13) came to the UK from Malawi, they have lived mainly in Leeds.

Beatrice married her British husband, Andy, in June 2008, but they have been unable to find suitable accommodation near the childrens’ school. Although it has been accepted that their marriage is genuine, Andy’s ability to support his family financially has been called into question, an issue that could easily be resolved by allowing Beatrice to work.

Beatrice, Ellen and Wells spent over two months in detention earlier this year, during which time they were deeply traumatized. They felt like criminals when they were forced into a caged van for the journey to Yarl’s Wood IRC; Wells said “it looked like a proper prison” when they arrived. Having had the presence of mind to pack his school uniform, he was dismayed to discover that there was no appropriate provision of education and the teacher was telling “scary stories” about children being separated from their parents if they resisted removal. Wells witnessed a detainee who had poured boiling water over himself screaming in agony and smashing his head against a wall and is still haunted by memories of Yarl’s Wood at night, describing the sound of people crying, doors banging and officers marching up and down the corridors in heavy boots. He found these experiences “really terrible” and says that they have left him in “total shock and confusion”.

We, the undersigned, call on the Home Secretary to reconsider this case (Ref B12346881/5) and to grant Beatrice, Ellen and Wells permission to remain with Andy in the UK indefinitely.

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The Beatrice, Andy, Ellen, and Wells Must Stay Together petition to Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP - Home Secretary was written by Andy and Beatrice and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.