An amazing-grandmother and Windrush campaigner who has terminal most cancers has begged the Residence Workplace to resolve her immigration standing earlier than she dies, nevertheless it has refused to expedite her case.
Eulalee Pennant, 64, of Jamaican heritage, arrived within the UK in 2001 and was granted a pupil visa. At one level, her immigration case was caught in a Residence Workplace backlog for a decade. She was granted discretionary go away to stay in 2019 on the idea of household life together with her companion, Gilford Fraser, a British citizen and Windrush descendant, who arrived within the UK from Jamaica in 1968 on the age of 12.
Pennant’s go away to stay ran out in January this 12 months. She has made a brand new software for additional go away to stay however continues to be ready for the Residence Workplace to course of it.
She was working as a carer throughout the pandemic and was a music performer with the stage identify LadyP Lioness, however was recognized with stage 4 small spherical cell sarcoma in April and has been given simply months to reside by her medical doctors.
Pennant has no recourse to public funds, so she can’t entry advantages that would make her closing months extra comfy. To this point she has not been charged for her NHS remedy, however she fears that Fraser could also be saddled with an enormous invoice after her loss of life. She has acquired emails from the hospital’s abroad guests division asking for proof of her go away to stay within the UK.
The couple reside in a third-floor flat in Hackney with no carry. Pennant is housebound other than when an ambulance crew carry her down the steps for hospital appointments.
Her MP, Diane Abbott, wrote to the Residence Workplace asking them to expedite her software for additional go away to stay, however officers wrote in response that whereas they have been sorry about Pennant’s sick well being, they might not expedite the applying regardless of the restricted time Pennant has left to reside.
Within the letter dated 6 August, officers stated the kind of software Pennant made doesn’t have a goal response time, and though these purposes are thought-about as shortly as attainable, “there could also be circumstances which end in an prolonged delay within the software processing time”.
The letter added that as a result of she was receiving NHS care, officers concluded “it isn’t acceptable to expedite the applying with the reasoning supplied”.
Household, mates and supporters have requested the Residence Workplace to grant her entry to public funds in addition to asking the division to rush up and course of the applying earlier than Pennant dies.
Pennant has suffered many hardships and tragedies in her life, in Jamaica and the UK, together with the homicide of her son Michael Phillips in Jamaica in 2009. He died of a number of gunshot wounds in June 2009, months after being deported from the UK. In 2018, on the top of the Windrush scandal, the Residence Workplace detained her and threatened to deport her to Jamaica. She has campaigned energetically for justice for Windrush victims.
Fraser stated: “The issues she has gone by are horrific. It’s laborious to even dream of the issues she has skilled and the scars that she has been left with. While you see somebody crying and you may’t do something about it, it’s the worst factor.”
Pennant stated: “If the Residence Workplace would type my case out, my life can be one million occasions higher than it’s now. They’ve messed with my life for thus a few years. Their remedy is merciless, it’s hostile, it’s racism. I’ve had loads of wrestle in my life. I don’t know what I’ve performed to deserve this.”
Her supporters have arrange a fund to pay for fundamentals for her as a result of she can’t entry advantages.
Justice campaigner Karen Doyle, who’s supporting Pennant, urged the Residence Workplace to grant Pennant go away with recourse to public funds as a matter of urgency. “This straightforward act would take away the insufferable weight of fear about how she will be able to financially survive, and carry the stress being attributable to fears of being charged for medical care, pay payments, preserve the house heat and survive the approaching months.”
Residence Workplace sources stated they didn’t routinely touch upon particular person circumstances, that purposes have been thought-about on their very own deserves and that they endeavoured to contemplate them as shortly as attainable.