Bristol

Family's fear ill South African woman may be deported from UK

Desree Taylor and Irene Nel
Image caption Desree Taylor said she "had the right" to look after her mother

The family of an ill South African woman living illegally in Britain for almost five years fear the process to deport her may have come a step closer.

Irene Nel, 73, came to Bristol on a tourist visa in 2012, but two weeks into her stay she fell ill and was diagnosed with kidney failure.

Daughter Desree Taylor said Mrs Nel signed on regularly with the police but the last visit included a health check.

The Home Office said Mrs Nel must leave Britain because her visa had expired.

Last year, more than 100,000 people signed a petition urging it not to deport her.

Her family say she is still very ill and needs dialysis three times a week to stay alive, treatment they claim she will not receive in South Africa.

Image caption Desree Taylor said the most recent police visit had included a health assessment for the first time

Ms Taylor said her mother had to sign on regularly at Patchway police station and said the procedure usually took less than 10 minutes.

She said: "They've done a medical assessment on Mum, so that to me looks like they're trying to prove that she can fly, to deport her."

Ms Taylor said the Home Office had been warning for more than a year that her mother would be deported, and she thought the delay "could be because they [Home Office] are worried about setting precedents".

She said: "She is my Mum and I should have the right to look after her."

Mrs Nel said: "They're waiting for me to die. We've really tried our best - I don't know what to say anymore."

She said: "I never slept last night because I know I've got to sign again. I don't know what they're going to do to me. I'm terrified. The day they arrest me to say I must go, that's going to kill me."

Initially Mrs Nel's medical insurance paid for her treatment, but stopped. She has been cared for by the NHS for the past four years.

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