Target:
Francisca Canales
Region:
United Kingdom
Website:
www.facebook.com

A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD Scots schoolgirl will be forced to move 7500 miles to the other side of the world because her mum is being deported.

Millie Canales, who was born in the UK and has lived in Scotland since she was a baby, is being sent to South America.

The P3 pupil, who speaks with a broad Scots accent, now faces a life of poverty in an earthquake zone in Chile with her pregnant mum Francisca.

Millie has only made two short trips to Chile and speaks no Spanish, so will be unable to communicate with anyone there.

She has known no other life apart from her semi-detached home in Stirling and her circle of friends at the city’s Braehead Primary School.

Millie said yesterday: “If I lose all my friends, I’ll be very sad. That is what the baddies want to do.”

Francisca, 27, who first came to the UK as a student when she was 16, said of her daughter, whose full name is Millaray: “She would be lost if we had to go to Chile now.

“She is like any other wee Scots girl, with a Scots accent and Scots friends.

“She has only been to Chile twice on holiday to see her gran and cannot read or write Spanish.”

Francisca added: “Scotland is my home, and my daughter has known no other home, but I feel everything I’m trying to do for my family is being sabotaged at every turn.

“I’ve never tried to hide from the UK Border Agency. I’ve always had the right visas and always kept them informed.

“I’ve always worked, paid my taxes and I’ve always tried to do the right thing for my family.

“The Human Rights Act states that all children are a priority and should always be protected.”

The UK Border Agency’s bombshell means Millie will be forced to live with her mum and grandmum in a cramped flat in the Chilean city of Talca, which was virtually destroyed by a massive earthquake in 2010.

The family’s plight is made even worse by the fact that Francisca is five months pregnant.
Francisca was first told to leave the UK when she applied to extend her visa in June last year.

The Home Office based their decision on the fact that she was no longer living with Millie’s father, a Spanish national she met in the UK and who now plays no role in her daughter’s life.

Francisca claims she was given only days to quit the country but she then applied for permanent residence based on human rights laws.

This application was rejected in February and Millie now knows her fate and is terrified of losing her pals.

She said: “I don’t want to live in Chile because it is so far away.

“This is like goodies and baddies. We are the goodies but the baddies won’t put a stamp on my passport or my mum’s passport.”

Like most girls her age, Millie’s loves princesses. She’s got posters of princesses plastered over her bedroom walls and loves the book Princess Smartypants.

She also enjoys school, where her favourite subject is history and her favourite teacher is Mrs Muir.

Heartbroken Francisca said: “We didn’t plan this situation, it just happened.

“Millie was born in the UK, for goodness sake. We’ve not tried to bend the rules or cheat. We’ve always been honest and open.”

The UK Border Agency’s ruling that Francisca is in Scotland without permission has led to her being fired from her £17,500-a-year job in the insurance industry.

It means her family also face a financial struggle in the run-up to her baby’s birth.

Their last hope is an appeal tribunal hearing, due to be held on June 3.

Francisca said: “If I lose, I’ll need to return to live with my mum in Chile.

“I’ll have no choice but to take Millaray with me. That will be devastating.

“Chile is a foreign country to her, and I’ve not lived there since I was 16.”


Save Millie Canales aged 7 and her Mum from deportation.

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