Last-ditch bid to keep student Yashika Bageerathi in UK

Protest against Yashika Bageerathi's deportation Image copyright Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Image caption Demonstrators gathered in Parliament Square on Saturday to protest at Yashika Bageerathi's deportation

Lawyers are set to make a last attempt to block the removal of a Mauritian student who is due to be deported.

Yashika Bageerathi, 19, from Enfield, has been given plane tickets by the Home Office and told to leave or "removal may be enforced".

She has been in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre since 19 March.

A legal team acting for the A-level student's school, the Oasis Academy Hadley, north London, will seek a High Court injunction this morning.

A previous appeal to prevent Ms Bageerathi's deportation failed, a spokesman for her school said.

'Belongs in London'

Head teacher Lynne Dawes said she found the Home Office's decision "unbelievable".

Image copyright Menha Zola/PA wire
Image caption Yashika Bageerathi faces being deported to Mauritius without her family

She told BBC News: "We hope Theresa May and the Home Office will listen to us and do something to help.

"Yashika has nowhere to go when she gets there and all these students feel she belongs in London."

Ms Dawes said Ms Bageerathi had originally been given tickets to return to Mauritius on a British Airways flight but the airline had refused to take her.

She has since been issued with tickets for an Air Mauritius flight due to leave Heathrow Airport at 17:00 BST.

The sixth-form student came to the UK with her mother and younger brother and sister in 2011 to escape a relative who was physically abusive.

The family claimed asylum last summer but all four now face deportation.

Because of Ms Bageerathi's age, her application was considered separately from the rest of her family and she faces returning to Mauritius alone.


Dozens of her fellow pupils gathered in central London on Saturday to protest against her removal.

Yashika's best friend Courage Emeka, 17, of Barnet, said: "I spoke to Yashika last night [Friday]; she's calmed down a lot. She was really upset last week and frightened, but she's calmer now."

A Home Office spokesperson said: "We consider every claim for asylum on its individual merits and in this case the applicant was not considered to be in need of protection.

"This case has gone through the proper legal process and our decision has been supported by the courts."

Shadow immigration minister David Hanson has pledged to contact the Home Office and urge a review of the decision.

The MP said on Twitter: "I am contacting the home office minister to intervene personally in #yashika case to ask for urgent further review."

Students from Ms Bageerathi's school have also started a petition calling on Immigration Minister James Brokenshire and Theresa May to stop the deportation.

So far, it has attracted more than 163,000 supporters.

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