Asylum seeker forced to quit job

A FORMER boss of asylum seeker Elton Ismaili today branded Britain's immigration system a “disgrace” after the 19-year-old was forced to quit his job.The Kosovo Albanian was shocked when he received a letter telling him he can no longer work and that he must report to Ipswich police station every week.

A FORMER boss of asylum seeker Elton Ismaili today branded Britain's immigration system a “disgrace” after the 19-year-old was forced to quit his job.

The Kosovo Albanian was shocked when he received a letter telling him he can no longer work and that he must report to Ipswich police station every week.

Maurizio Portaluri, owner of Salentina Ristorante e Pizzeria, Great Colman Street, Ipswich, where Mr Ismaili worked as a head waiter, today called for more flexibility in the decision-making progress for asylum seekers who contributed to society.

He said: “He is a good boy. He has been working hard for me and studying and he is never a problem. He was always friendly and the customers liked him.


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“He now has to be supported by the taxpayer, when before he had a job and was paying tax himself.

“I think it is disgraceful. The system is just absolutely mad.”

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Mr Ismaili, better known as Tony, is currently appealing a decision to send him back to his home country of Kosovo because he says his life is in this country.

The Suffolk College student lost his first court appeal, but said he was surprised to receive the letter because he and his foster family were waiting for another hearing in July.

Mr Ismaili, of Wilberforce Street, Ipswich, said: “I feel really bad. They have taken away my work permit so I will have to go to the job centre.

“My solicitor said it was because I lost the first court case and that I will definitely not be able to work anymore.”

A spokesman for the immigration authorities refused to comment on individual cases, but said: “The restrictions are part of the process to keep in touch with asylum seekers.

“As far as employment is concerned, it is policy not to allow failed asylum seekers to work.”

Friends have vowed to start a petition and said they will also ask the family's MP, Sir Michael Lord, to help fight his case.

Mr Ismaili was taken in by Kesgrave foster parents Karen and Kevin Harris after he arrived in this country at the age of 14.

He believes his birth family was destroyed when Serbian forces stormed his village of Skenderaj.

After fleeing to Macedonia, he then watched as his uncle was shot dead by tanks.

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PANEL:

ELTON Ismaili's case is very similar to that of failed Afghan Asylum seeker Naematullah Rahmati.

Mr Rahmati, known as Matt in Ipswich, arrived in the town five years ago after his father was executed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

He was granted temporary permission to stay and during his time in Britain he has learned English and become a qualified mechanic.

He has also met and married an Ipswich woman - but now the Home Office says it is safe for him to return to Afghanistan and it has threatened to deport him any day. He too has been forced to give up his job as a mechanic.

The Home Office has refused to comment on specific cases - including that of Mr Rahmati - but has said he would be able to apply to move to Britain as a migrant worker, but only after he has returned to Afghanistan.

It insisted his life will no longer be at risk there because the Taliban regime has been overthrown.

Mr Rahmati has won the support of around 1,000 people who have signed petitions calling for him to be allowed to stay.

Among his many supporters is Hamil Clarke, former mayor of Ipswich and chairman of the Ipswich and Suffolk Commission for Racial Equality (ISCRE).

Although home secretary Charles Clarke is aware of Mr Rahmati's case, he has said he cannot get personally involved.

Mr Rahmati is now awaiting a decision on his last-ditch plea based on his marriage to his wife, Tanya, who is a British citizen.

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