Rima Update

Nicked without apology from Gadgetvicar’s blog (and I know he won’t mind in the slightest!):

Many readers will know about the St Silas’ couple who are fostering a young Eritrean asylum seeker, Rima Andmariam. They are on television (BBC1) in Scotland only on Wednesday 19th May at 22:45. The programme is called “Truth, Lies, and Asylum Seekers” and is a full-length documentary about the situations of three asylum seekers in Glasgow. The story of their family is one of the three. It is also available on Sky 971.

With a new Parliament and a new Government and a new Home Secretary there is a fresh opportunity to bring Rima’s case to the attention of new Ministers.

Robert and Alison write:

Our campaign is entering a new critical phase. Rima will turn 18 on 1st July, and the law covering her situation changes. There is a good chance that the Border Agency will try to deport her soon after then if we have not managed some progress either legally or politically beforehand. However, we have new MPs and a new UK government is in power, so now we are able to resume campaigning.

Thanks to your support, our MP, John Robertson, did write to the former Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, on Rima’s behalf just before Parliament was dissolved, asking that at the very least she be given the opportunity to claim asylum in the UK. Unfortunately the reply he received simply announced that with Parliament being dissolved and the election period imminent no action could be taken. In addition, Catherine Stihler, our MEP, raised a question in the European Parliament (thanks to Rima’s friend Douglas, aged 8) and has received a full and helpful reply from President Barroso, President of the European Commisson.

A new range of letters is suggested, depending on who was elected to Westminster in your constituency. We do not believe at this stage that we need more letters to MSPs or the Scottish Government at the moment, but Scots may wish to write to the new Scottish Secretary as well as to their MP. This is especially worth while given the announcement by the new Prime Minister, David Cameron, that there will be full co-operation with then Scottish Government on all issues. Please do personalise the letters as much as you feel able, and have time for. The more individual a letter the more impact it makes on all of these politicians and their administrative assistants.

Sample letters are available at:

http://www.letrimastay.org.uk/

ACTIONS

As a first priority please write to the new Home Secretary, Theresa May. See Letter A

If your MP was re-elected, then you could use one of this range of letters:

B1 – If they have already expressed support

B2 – If they have expressed support and you know they have had a reply from the Home Office

B3 – if they have refused to express support

If your MP has now become a Government minister, it is well worth congratulating them on that also. To our surprise, a number of Cabinet Ministers in the previous Government were very positive in their replies to constituents, so there is no reason why the same should not apply to the new ones. You might mention this to them, to encourage a positive response. If you have friends in the constituency of the new Home Secretary (Theresa May, Maidenhead) or Immigration Minister (Damien Green, Ashford), could you ask them particularly to write to them as their constituency MP.

If you have a new MP, then you should use letter C1. MP’s who have been helping us with our campaign have informed us that where new MP’s have been elected then previous files are closed. So where there are new MP’s I’m afraid we need to start again, on the ground.

If, as a Scot, you want to write to the new Scottish Secretary, Danny Alexander, you could use letter C2.

We are also printing up a new Postcard, addressed to Theresa May. Let us know if you would like some of these for your friends and contacts to use.

Please also send hard copies of all your letters to Rima’s named UKBA ‘case worker’:-

Liam Fenning,

Third Country Unit, UKBA

7th Floor

Green Park House

29 Wellesley Road

Croydon

Surrey CR0 2AJ

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