Mum quits UK as asylum bid fails

AN ALBANIAN woman and her British baby given shelter by a church in Ipswich has returned to her home country after losing her battle to stay in Britain.

AN ALBANIAN woman and her British baby given shelter by a church in Ipswich has returned to her home country after losing her battle to stay in Britain.

Anna Pareshi had lived in Britain for more than two years after coming to be with the British father of her daughter Nicole.

The baby was born in Ipswich and has British citizenship, but her father left Anna soon after her birth.

Since then the 32-year-old had battled to stay in Britain with Nicole, who is now a toddler, and won the support of worshippers at St Mary at the Elms in Ipswich town centre.

In April she was taken to the Oakington deportation centre in Cambridgeshire and told she was being removed from the country, but she was granted a judicial review hearing and was able to stay while waiting for that to happen.

But Father Haley Dossor, vicar of St Mary at the Elms said: "Unfortunately the judicial review failed and Anna was told last week that she would be deported from Britain.

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"She decided she would rather return on her own terms and bought her own flight back to Albania and left on Sunday.

"It's all very sad. We really hoped she would stay here - Anna had such a lot to offer to Britain."

Anna, 32, trained as a nurse in Albania and speaks three languages, including English. She also has qualifications in catering and as a manicurist.

Now that she has returned to Albania, she has been told she can make a fresh application to move to Britain - but Fr Dossor said she was more likely to try to find a job in Greece.

"We are still in touch with her and we know she and Nicole have arrived safely in Albania - everyone at the church is just rather deflated that it all came to this," he said.

Nicole retains joint British and Albanian citizenship and would be able to return to this country when she is 16 if she wants to make a life here.

Ipswich MP Chris Mole had spoken to Home Office ministers in an attempt to find a way for Anna to stay in Britain.

He said the campaign was always fighting an uphill battle: "In the end it was clear there was no real threat of persecution - which is the only criterion they could consider.

"Unfortunately for Anna the Home Office is not able to consider whether someone seeking asylum will be of benefit or not to Britain."

Mr Mole said Anna would now be able to make an application for a work permit if she wished - and the skills she has would then be taken into consideration.

Another refugee, Anvar Valiyev from Uzbekistan, is still waiting to hear from the Home Office whether his application for asylum has been successful.

Do you think it was right for Anna and Nicole to be forced to go back to Albania? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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