MSP and MP unite to fight deportation of Stirling family


Bruce Crawford, MSP for the Stirling constituency, has criticised the United Kingdom Borders Agency (UKBA) over their plans to deport two of his constituents to Chile. 
Francisca and Millie Canales have lived in Scotland since Millie was a baby having previously lived in the south of England where Millie was born.
Francisca Canales is now pregnant and is expecting a baby with her Scottish partner Barry Nicol in four month’s time. Millie has visited Chile only twice in her life, and speaks no Spanish.  Francisca came to the UK when she was just 16, and has spent all of her adult life in England and Scotland.
Local Labour MP Ann McGuire, and local MSP Bruce Crawford of the SNP, have both given their backing to a local campaign to prevent the family being split up.  Parents at Millie’s school – Braehead Primary in Stirling – have set up a Facebook group calling for a UK Border Agency U-turn. More than 1300 people signed up.
Both Ms McGuire and Mr Crawford have written to Home Secretary Theresa May calling on her to reverse the decision.
Ms McGuire said:
“I’m contacting Theresa May calling on her to use her discretion as a matter of urgency to allow Millie and her mum to stay in the UK.
“Francisca and Millie are in this position only because there was a breakdown in a family relationship, which changed their status from a legal one to an illegal one.”
Mr Crawford added:
“I have spoken to Francisca, the mother of 7-year-old Millie Canales, and assured her that I will do all I can to persuade the UKBA against deporting her and her daughter from their home in Stirling.
“Millie’s school friends and members of the local community are angry about this, as am I. Stirling is where Millie and her mum belong – Francisca has made a home here and has worked here for the past four years in a good job, only losing it recently as a result of the UKBA’s actions.
“I have written to the UK government asking that they look at this case in more detail before forcing a child who was born in the UK out of her school and her home, and sending her thousands of miles away.
“Francisca and her daughter have made their home in Stirling and are part of their local community. Further, Francisca is pregnant with her second child. Under these circumstances, the Westminster system’s attempts to deport this family are wholly inappropriate, may well breach Millie’s human rights, and the proposed deportation must not be allowed to proceed.”