I am writing to all members of Lambeth UNISON to ask you to take some immediate action to try to avert a tragic injustice.
A young father, the son of one of the members of our trade union branch, is facing deportation this Sunday because he lost his own father in a hit and run in 2004.
Jermaine Strachen was 14 at the time of his father's death and was dependent on his father (a British citizen) for his immigration status in the UK. Now 26 he faces deportation leaving his remaining family including a six year old son behind.
The Strachan family's tragedy starts at the Athens Olympics where Errol Strachan, 45, of Frant Road, Thornton Heath died of multiple injuries when a car driven by a Danish yachtsman struck him just hours before he was due to return home from the 2004 games, where he had been working as a catering contractor.
An inquest held at Croydon Coroner's Court in 2013 heard witnesses say Nicklas Holm, a member of Denmark's Olympic sailing team, had been driving at 80kmph when he hit and killed Mr Strachan.
The speed limit of the road was 50 kmph, which Mr Holm, who had been driving in a lane specially designated for those involved in the Olympics, insisted he had not exceeded. The yachtsman said he felt "no guilt" about Mr Strachan's death and competed in the games just six days later.
But in 2010 a Greek court convicted him of manslaughter by dangerous driving and sentenced him to eight months in prison. Judges overturned the verdict on appeal in April 2011.
Mr Strachan from Croydon had been crossing to get cash out of a machine on his last night in Athens, where he had been posted for four days by employer Admirable Crichton when he was hit. Lawyers for Mr Strachan's are to appeal in the civil court in February 2014.
Ms Hazel Strachan said her husbands death had been devastating for his two young children Jermaine and Sharnette, both from an earlier relationship - adding: "Jermaine was just a kid when it happened so it was especially hard for him."
Since his father's death Jermaine has been subject to reporting conditions, which he has complied with every Friday at Luna House in Croydon.
Ruth Cashman, Joint Secretary Lambeth UNISON stated "It defies belief that the Home Office would compound the Stachan family's tragedy by deporting Jermaine. Jermaine lost his father at 14 and his six year old son Maliki also faces growing up without his father. We consider this a gross injustice and believe Jermaine Strachan should remain in the UK with his family and should be given full British Citizenship."
Jermaine's reference number is S793967 and he is currently detained at Dover Immigration Centre.
We are asking members, please to send an email to the Home Secretary (email@example.com) with a copy to the local MP (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to the branch (email@example.com), quoting Jermaine's reference number (S793967) and asking that he be granted leave to remain in this country.
If you have time to write this in your own words that would be great. If not you can cut and paste the email addresses and suggested text for the message below.
Thank you very much for anything which you can do to help us try to prevent Jermaine's deportation.
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
Title for the email;
Reference S79367 – stop the deportation of Jermaine Strachan
I am writing to urge you to stop the deportation of Jermaine Strachan, a young father, who is facing deportation after losing his father in a hit-and-run during the Olympic Games. Mr Strachan, 14 years of age at the time of his father's death, was dependent on his father (a British citizen) for his immigration status.
The Strachan family have already been through considerable trauma. Errol Strachan, 45, Jermaine's father, died of multiple injuries when a car driven by a Danish yachtsman struck him just hours before he was due to return home from the games. At the time his wife, Ms Hazel Strachan, said her husband's death had been devastating for his children, son Jermaine and daughter Sharnette, both from an earlier relationship. She added "Jermaine was just a kid when it happened, so it was especially hard for him." Since his father's death, Jermaine has been subject to weekly reporting conditions, which he has consistently complied with at Luna House in Croydon. Despite this, he now faces deportation and leaving his remaining family, including six-year-old son Maliki, behind.
Maliki's teacher has written a letter of concern to the Home Office to highlight the effect of Jermaine's detention and possible deportation on the child, stating "Maliki is a naturally happy boy but I have seen his world turn upside down since November, when his father was taken to Dover. This naturally happy boy has become frequently tearful, complains that he misses his dad and finds it increasingly difficult to concentrate."
I join Maliki's teacher in calling on the Home Office to reunite him with his father, Jermaine. She adds in her letter that "I worry for the severe effect his father's deportation will have on him. Maliki is a British citizen and he needs his dad as he grows up. As a society, we should want the best for our children and should ensure they are not denied the role models they need to grow into well adjusted, emotionally stable adults. I implore you to reverse the decision to deport Maliki's father. As a teacher, I see the profound effect absent fathers have on children, both emotionally and educationally. Maliki's father need not be absent; please think of this boy's future and reverse your decision." As his teacher demonstrates, all too often, the rights and need to safeguard children are overlooked in immigration cases.
Just as Jermaine lost his father at 14 years old, this family tragedy will only deepen by making Maliki grow up without his father. I consider the proposed deportation to be a gross injustice and believe Jermaine Strachan should remain in the UK with his family.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Please take immediate action to prevent the deportation of Jermaine Strachan