Support grows for Mary
STAND up and show your support for Mary Martin!That's the call tonight as we expose the shocking hypocrisy of the Home Office which allows refugees into Britain every day – and then decides to deport a mum and a grandmother who is English through and through.
STAND up and show your support for Mary Martin!
That's the call tonight as we expose the shocking hypocrisy of the Home Office which allows refugees into Britain every day – and then decides to deport a mum and a grandmother who is English through and through.
Tonight you have your chance to say that the laws are wrong and Mary Martin should not be forced to leave the country where she has lived for 50 years, where she has grown up, worked and raised a family.
The Evening Star has organised a meeting in the Suffolk Suite at the Hotel Elizabeth Orwell, Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, at 7.30pm, in conjunction with the hotel owners, who are backing our campaign and supporting Miss Martin.
This will be a chance for people to come along and sign our petition to keep Miss Martin in Britain, and to voice your concern at her plight.
As revealed exclusively in the Evening Star last night, Miss Martin, of Carriage Close, Trimley St Mary, has been told by Home Office officials that she must leave the country tomorrow – because she is American.
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However, she has lived in Suffolk since she was two years old, and never realised she was a US citizen until her mum died two years ago.
She has not left Britain since she arrived – not even for a holiday – and the move to deport her has come as a complete shock.
Today The Evening Star says the Home Office's actions are disgraceful.
It is absolute nonsense that after all this time they should decide she must leave after she has built her life here and is English in all but place of birth.
Miss Martin would get better treatment if she arrived as a stowaway on board a cargo ship at Felixstowe Port and applied for political asylum.
Today she was in the national spotlight as her case was featured heavily on GMTV and on BBC Radio Four's Today programme, the show that is apparently listened to by all the nation's top politicians.
And the Home Office revealed that government ministers were urgently reviewing her case.
But even so it was not clear whether she would be allowed to stay.
A spokeswoman at the Home Office said Immigration Officers had "some discretion" on whether people could stay in the country, but the only sure way was for Miss Martin to prove she had lived continuously in the UK for 14 years.
Miss Martin's plight has been taken up by shadow Home Secretary Oliver Letwin, who is today preparing toraise the case in the House of Commons.
"At first sight this is a very odd and disturbing case. I shall be raising it in the House of Commons with the Home Secretary," he said.
"It is particularly worrying that they are trying to evict someone who has spent almost all her life here and I would like to contrast this with their treatment of Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed in London.
"He is here on an exceptional leave to stay and has been urging people to act as suicide bombers in the UK.
"Why is the Home Office trying to deport Mrs Martin while doing nothing about Sheikh Mohammed."