A woman and her newborn baby are fighting to stay in Scotland after her UK visa came to an end and she was been left without a home.
The woman, who gave birth four weeks ago, is from Zambia. Named only as Precious, the woman has been told by Glasgow City Council and the Home Office that she has overstayed her visa and must return home.
The woman’s lawyer is now making a new UK visa application on her behalf on human rights grounds. She originally came to the UK a decade ago on a visitors’ visa and is now sleeping on friends’ sofas because she cannot legally work and is not receiving any support from the City Council.
Precious said that she had been told by social workers that suitable accommodation could not be found for her because she was not entitled to claim housing benefit.
Precious’ case has been taken up by SNP MP Stewart MacDonald, who is demanding a personal review by Home Secretary Teresa May. He has been campaigning on her behalf since September last year.
He told The Herald: "My office have been dealing with this case with an increasing sense of frustration and anxiety at the workings of a support system that has patently failed her. This woman and her child should receive the support that they so desperately need, regardless of their immigration status."
He said there had been a “lack of humanity” applied to the case and the “callous” decision to provide support for the new mum. Mr MacDonald also said there had been a “political demonisation of immigrants and asylum seekers” by the UK Government.
The Home Office said: "Home Office support is available to destitute failed asylum seekers in certain circumstances – for example, where they face a genuine obstacle to their departure from the UK.
"Otherwise, the decision whether to provide support to prevent destitution is a matter for the local authority."