Teenager Yashika Bhageerathi has been forced to leave Britain after a judge refused to grant an emergency injunction to allow her to appeal.
The 19-year-old, who fled her native Mauritius with her mother and brother because of an “extremely dangerous” relative in 2012, was due to sit her A-levels next month and her school was at the forefront of a campaign to allow her to stay. Some 177,000 people signed a petition calling on Home Secretary Theresa May to let her remain in Britain with her family.
However appeal judge Lord Justice Richards refused to order a stay during a telephone hearing as Miss Bhageerathi was being driven to Heathrow Airport for a 9pm flight.
Shortly before the plane took off, her mother, Sowbhagyawatee Bageerathi, told Channel 4 News: “Where she is going, she is worried about the life and the education. She has worked so hard here and now they want to ruin her life. I am very sad for my daughter. I am very worried. I want everybody to go together and not to send her alone.”
Her school, Oasis Academy Hadley, in Enfield, said on its Twitter account: “Who wants to bet the Government would do anything in their power to help a white British citizen to escape abuse? Unfair. #FightForYashika.”
Her MP, David Burrowes, a Conservative, said he was “deeply disappointed”.
“What is the harm of her just simply being allowed to continue to do her exams and be with her family?” he said.
His point was echoed by Yvette Cooper, Labour’s shadow Home Secretary, who said she could not understand why officials were “refusing to apply a bit of common sense”. “Why not let this teenager get her exams done and have her case handled alongside her family?” she said.
A Home Office spokesman said Miss Bhageerathi was being “removed” not “deported” from the UK because her visa had run out, and that she “would be banned from re-entering the UK”.
He pointed to official guidance which says that “immigration offenders” can be banned from returning to Britain for 10 years if they are “removed or deported following their breach” as opposed to leaving voluntarily at their own expense.