Glyn Robbins: Sign my petition to help prevent two profoundly deaf children from being deported by the Home Office

Posted on March 19, 2015

I am writing this article about a Tower Hamlets family who recently became the foster family to two profoundly deaf children, a brother and sister called Anisa (14) and Samian (12), from Bangladesh.
Nasir and Ashfa, the foster parents, have lived in Tower Hamlets for over 20 years.

In January 2013 they were visited by a couple, one of whom is a distant cousin of Ashfa, and their children, both deaf, who had travelled from Bangladesh.

Anisa and Samian

Anisa and Samian

The couple stayed one night with the family and left their children at the flat the next day, saying they would return. The couple did not return.

Eventually, after trying in vain to trace the parents, the couple involved the local council and arranged to become the foster careers.

The children were given hearing aids for the first time in their lives. Because they have not developed speech, they used only gesture to communicate.

However, they were soon placed at a special school for the deaf in where they are now happy and settled and learning to communicate using British Sign Language. Nasir and Ashfa have gone to great efforts to learn to sign language by attending a course for parents.

At the end of last year, the Home Office granted the children leave to remain in the UK for two and a half years, to be reviewed. However, early this year the Home Office began to claim that the foster carers are lying, and the children are in fact with their parents.

Home Office officials will meet at the end of March to decide on whether to forcibly remove the children. A community campaign has been launched to call on the Home Secretary, Theresa May to grant them indefinite leave to remain.

I cannot emphasise enough just how vulnerable these children are. They are in the beginning stages of learning to use a system of signed communication which they did not have access to when they were schooled in a mainstream school in Bangladesh.

Their parents have not been traced by either their foster carers or the Home Office. It is feared that, should they be deported, they would return to Bangladesh alone, traumatised and with no means of communicating. This would make them highly dependent on others and therefore at great risk of harm.

I have created a petition against this, and I would appreciate the support of the deaf community in signing the petition and passing it on to all your friends.

Sign the petition by clicking here.

Glyn Robbins is the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) general election candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow.

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Posted in: deaf news, petition