A nine-year-old boy refuses to go to school after fearing his parents will be deported to Rwanda while he is away.
Akar Abdalla and his family are seeking asylum to stay in Smethwick, Staffordshire, after fleeing the conflict in Iraq.
But her immigration status is causing the boy “extreme stress” after learning about Rwanda’s controversial deportation scheme.
His father Kamal says Akar “cried” so much when he heard the news that he became ill from stress and was unable to attend classes for three weeks.
The Abdalla family have tried to apply for asylum twice in three years and have been waiting for a decision on their latest application for months.
“He doesn’t go to school,” Kamal said. “He tells me he’s afraid that when he gets home everyone will be deported. He has seen videos on social media and in the news of people waiting in detention centers and families being torn apart. They make him cry and he tells us he’s scared.
“Whenever he’s scared, we hug him and tell him we won’t be deported. We’ve asked the Home Office to give us papers to say he’s definitely safe, but they haven’t given us anything.
New Prime Minister Liz Truss is a strong supporter of Rwanda’s policy, which would see migrants who arrive in the UK illegally being sent 4,000 miles away to have their applications processed.
40-year-old Kamal and his family fled Iraq after their house was burned down by the Kurdish paramilitary group Peshmerga, which wanted to force Kamal’s daughter into marriage to one of its members.
Although they escaped, his daughter Rayan Abdalla suffered severe burns to her arm in the attack.
“Akar lives in constant fear – he’s scared every day,” Kamal said. “We need something from the government, the situation has nothing to do with our son – it’s not fair to him. Before the Rwanda policy was instituted, he wasn’t like that.”
Rwanda’s policy is being challenged in the Supreme Court amid concerns over the East African nation’s “present and historical human rights record”. The Home Office said it takes the welfare and safety of people in its care very seriously.
Salman Mirza, a refugee and migrant lawyer, said: “The government does not understand that children have become collateral damage through its continued hostile environment policies. Children also read the news and are petrified when they are sent to Rwanda.’
The Home Office said it would not comment on individual cases, but stressed that a case-by-case assessment would take place for each person being considered for relocation. They said no one would be relocated if it was “unsafe or inappropriate”.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We are committed to ensuring that asylum applications are examined without undue delay, but some cases may be more complex and take longer.
“We have understood from the outset that no one will be relocated if it is unsafe or inappropriate for them, and our thorough assessment of Rwanda has found it to be a fundamentally safe and secure country with a track record of supporting asylum seekers. The directive applies to people who entered the UK illegally on or after 1 January 2022.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/09/21/boy-terrified-his-family-will-be-deported-to-rwanda-while-at-school-17421253/ Junge is afraid that his family will be deported to Rwanda while he is at school