When I came to the UK in 2001, I was happy to start a new life, new country and experience something culturally different.
I paid little attention to the stamp on my visa and focused on my goals of achieving everything from buying a house, going back to university to further my studies to having a child and learning how to drive, my plan was to achieve these all within five years, so when I had achieved all these within a space of five years, I thought the sky was not even a limit as to what the next years would bring.
Unfortunately, life has a way of throwing a storm at us, in 2006 just five months before I was due to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK having spent five years on the work permit, I made the most important decision in my life and that was to leave an abusive marriage, to start a new life with my daughter who was two years old at the time and to cut the strings attached to the threats of being a dependant of someone else who has done me a huge favour by bringing me to this country, I decided that I was going to detach from ownership and mental torture, and that is where I was wrong, “I moved from the frying pan, straight to the fire”
The experience of No Recourse To Public Funds, is a reminder of a life in South Africa when I was growing up, whereby I had no rights because of the colour of my skin, everyday in Northern Ireland I am reminded of that childhood experience, and it suddenly dawned on me that not only I am discriminated, but my child too.
My child was born in Northern Ireland and should have the same rights that other children that are white born here have, like Citizenship, safeguarding, protection, family life and have a home, school and social life…however she has had to endure the same suffering as her mother, not because I am an undocumented migrant, but because I made a choice of leaving an abusive marriage that guaranteed her all of these rights, it is as if these rights are depending on a man, he is the one in control of Immigration Laws, and therefore in control of not just my life but my daughter’s as well and the Government has no say in the matter, as a matter of fact reinforce the suffering and torture to both of us.
No Recourse To Public Funds strip you of your identity into case, a statistic a case number, not human. It closes open doors; it puts your life on hold and brings you to your abuser’s door to beg for mercy.
It sees you homeless, jobless, and rips the very fabric which this Country’s values are based on and the very Human Rights Act that you rely on can do nothing for you.
You can sign a campaign created by Nandi Jola to put an end to “No Recourse to Public Funds” here.