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Keighley mum fights for the third time to stay in UK
Keighley mother Ayesha Ali, who fears persecution in her home country after converting from Islam to Christianity, is making a new attempt for asylum.
She will again apply to the Home Office for her and six-year-old daughter Dua to stay in the UK.
Ayesha and Dua were threatened with deportation last year following two failed asylum bids.
Ayesha had claimed she and her daughter would face a serious threat of religious persecution if they returned to Pakistan.
Since early 2012 the pair have lived in Ingrow, where Dua attends the primary school and Ayesha is a member of nearby St John’s Church.
Mother and daughter have received support from church members in Keighley and Bradford to provide evidence of their religious devotion.
Several months ago Ayesha enlisted the help of Mark Taylor, Keighley MP Ann Cryer’s former assistant, who now runs Bradford-based immigration law specialists the Taylor Partnership.
Mr Taylor said that after reviewing Ayesha’s case, the only option was to put in a new application.
Mr Taylor said the challenge was to prove that Ayesha has really committed apostasy – renouncing her previous religion – and become a practising Christian.
He has commissioned an independent report from an expert in apostasy, who can talk to Ayesha in her own language. Mr Taylor said: “The frustrating thing is that this has been going on a bit, and while she is waiting Ayesha is at risk of removal from the UK.
“I’ve told the Home Office that the report is coming. I’m taking time because we’re at the end of the line. This will be the best evidence we can gather.”
Mr Taylor said the Home Office could either accept the report and give Ayesha a visa or declare that the evidence was the same as last time and didn’t take the case any further.
He said: “If it’s refused outright the only relief is judicial review through the High Court, which is tricky.”