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Campaign to stop London firefighter's wife being deported to Bolivia

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 13/02/2018 BENEDICT MOORE-BRIDGER

a man and a woman posing for a picture © Provided by Independent Print Limited A petition has been launched to try to stop the wife of a London firefighter being deported to Bolivia.

Colin Jones said his wife, Elizabeth Madrid, could be force to leave the country “at any time” because of increasing difficulties in securing a British visa.

Elizabeth arrived in the UK in 2003 on a visitor’s visa from Bolivia, before becoming a student.

An extension was refused by the Home Office and she was told to leave, but it was never followed up and she started working, falling in love with Colin after meeting at the fire station on the Holloway Road where she worked as a cleaner.

After getting married in 2015 they again applied for a visa. But after a 12 month wait Elizabeth she had to leave the country within 28 days.

She now has to sign on at Becket House immigration centre every week.

A petition has now been launched, with nearly 6,500 people pledging support.

Mr Jones, 44, said he was told her staying was “not in the interest of the UK - despite her paying tax, national insurance, and never claiming benefits.

Writing on the website, he said: “They refused to give her a visa saying that if we want to live together go to Bolivia.

“It would be impossible for me to go to Bolivia as I rely on my two jobs to provide income. I wouldn’t have a job there. I have little knowledge of there language and the way of life there, and also my wife worries that I would be targeted and killed there, because of the crime rate.

“The whole situation is very stressful and upsetting for the both of us. If she is deported I don’t know what I will do.”

A Home Office spokesman said the decision was made because Ms Madrid had no leave to remain and “did not meet the requirements of the immigration rules for the category in which she applied”.

A spokesman added: “There were no exceptional reasons for her to remain in the UK because her relationship could continue overseas. We expect people with no legal basis to remain in the UK to leave the country voluntarily.”


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