Student reveals deportation despair

The Oxford Times: Promising student Yashika Bageerathi, 19, is facing deportation to her native Mauritius on Mother's Day (Menha Zola/PA) Promising student Yashika Bageerathi, 19, is facing deportation to her native Mauritius on Mother's Day (Menha Zola/PA)

Mauritian student Yashika Bageerathi has revealed her despair at having the threat of deportation hanging over her.

The 19-year-old, who had expected to sent back to her home country today, has been held in Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre since March 19.

Last night she was informed that she would not be put on an Air Mauritius flight leaving Heathrow but was not told the reason why the removal was cancelled.

In a Channel 4 News interview said she felt alone in Yarl's Wood and added: "I hate being here".

"I'm just all alone, I can't go to school, the place where I'm always at. I'm just away from everyone," she said.

Promising student Yashika came to the UK with her mother, sister and brother in 2011 to escape a relative who was physically abusive and claimed asylum last summer.

But the family were told they all faced the threat of deportation after receiving a letter from the Home Office.

"I just keep thinking ... about what might happen, what will happen," Yashika said.

She added that she was scared and "I just want to get out from here".

She has been given support by staff and students from her school, the Oasis Academy Hadley in north London, and said: " I'm just hoping to get out from here and complete my A Levels."

A petition by the students calling on immigration minister James Brokenshire and Home Secretary Theresa May to stop the deportation has garnered more than 165,000 signatures on website change.org.

The principal of the Oasis Academy, Lynne Dawes, told Sky News that Air Mauritius had refused to take Yashika on the flight, but had no official information as to why she would not be leaving the UK today.

Ms Dawes said: "We believe that Air Mauritius refused to fly her. But Yashika was told by a Home Office official that there were technical problems with the plane."

She added: "I can only think that maybe they've listened to what the people are saying and that they feel that it's wrong that she has to go back alone.

"But we have no official information on this, and this is one of the hardest things, just trying to understand what is happening to Yashika and her family."

She added that lawyers representing Yashika were considering what their next step would be.

Shadow immigration minister David Hanson said he would ask the Home Office to review the decision.

Mrs May has said that the plight of the teenager had gone through the "proper process" and she would not be stepping in to prevent her deportation.

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