Florence and Precious Mhango from Glasgow were released from detention in Yarlswood Immigration Centre last December because of public pressure. But they are still at risk. Precious is 10 and has spent seven years in this country. She is totally Glaswegian and much loved by all her friends and neighbours in Cranhill where she lives and goes to school. The authorities want to send her back to Malawi. But if that happens, she will be taken from her mother Florence, and given to the family of her father, whom she doesn't know. The law of Malawi awards custody to the father's family. But it gets worse, Precious may be at risk of forced early marriage and even genital mutilation if she is taken away from her mum. If she stays in Scotland, it's her ambition to go to university. She has already proved herself a talented and mature writer with her detention diary.
Florence and Precious failed to win a judicial review of their case in December. But they have won the right to appeal against that decision.
THE APPEAL IS HELD IN LONDON TOMORROW (Feb 10)
There are 2 ways the Mhangos can be reprieved. They can win their appeal and then win their judicial review. But that will cost money. You can help by donating to their legal fund.
You can do this through the bank to CRANHILL WORLD CAFÉ, Sort Code: 83 21 27 Account Number: 10015466 Royal Bank of Scotland 1304 Duke Street, Glasgow G31 5PZ or by sending a cheque to Cranhill Church, 109 Bellrock Street, Cranhill G33 3HE.
Campaigners are still asking supporters to write to the Home Secretary Alan Johnson. He can use his discretion, drop the legal objections and grant them leave to remain. They have lived here for 7 years, since Precious was a toddler of 3. Many more families are rightly granted leave to remain after a far shorter time period.
Florence has asked that all correspondence supporting them is respectful. Here is a sample letter drafted by the campaign.
Send it to Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP, Home Secretary, Home Office, Direct Communications Unit, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF
Remember there isn't much time.