Terrified teenager facing deportation gets help from Romford family
PUBLISHED: 11:29 15 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:51 15 November 2013
A "terrified" teenager who has been living in England for almost 10 years is facing deportation.
Now his best friend’s family are fighting to keep him here.
Eighteen-year-old Iqbal Bagus, who attended Royal Liberty School in Upper Brentvvood Road, Gidea Park, is currently detained in Brook House immigration removal centre at Gatwick Airport.
After coming to England aged eight with his now absent parents, he could be sent back to Malawi, in southern Africa, after problems with his immigration status were discovered.
The family of Iqbal’s best friend, Connor Davis, who he has often stayed with, have been acting as his legal sponsors. They say he had no idea there was a problem.
Connor’s mother Linda is desperately trying to arrange for him to remain in the country, even paying for a barrister after being told Iqbal would need legal representation.
She said: “He is terrified. He doesn’t speak the language well or have any contacts there, and he had no idea this situation would come about.”
Iqbal, who has previously carried out work experience as a mechanic, was recently charged with possession of a class C drug.
His former headteacher from Royal Liberty, Julia Deery, said Iqbal was a normal student who fitted in well with others.
She added: “I imagine it would be very difficult for him to go back to a country he knows nothing about.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “We do not comment on individual cases. When someone is found not to have a right to be here, we expect them to leave voluntarily. If they fail to do so, we will seek to remove them.”
Habib Rahman, chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said deporting Iqbal would be an “inhumane measure”.