The local community in Teesside in the north east of England were shocked last week when immigration officials snatched and deported the Sajid family to Pakistan.
Raheela Sajid and her two, children Mohammad and Shataj, fled to Britain in 2002 after suffering abuse at the hands of her husband. They settled in the South Bank area of Teesside.
Christine Stubbs is a friend of the Sajid family. “I was with them when they were taken,” she told Socialist Worker.
“We went to the police station to sign some forms. When we entered the station the door slammed behind us.
“A police officer and immigration official appeared. They said to the Sajids ‘come this way’ and took them away.
“They have been put in another country with nothing — no money or roof over their heads. What are they supposed to do?
“It was like a game for the authorities. This family was treated like a statistic. Another three deported means a pat on the back for the immigration minister Tony McNulty.
“It doesn’t matter what country people are from—they have fled here from something.
“The community is up in arms. People are saying how shocked they are. The government is advocating integration, but how can we integrate when they are sending people away?
“The children of other asylum seekers at the local school have been crying, afraid that they are going to be next. We are now going to campaign to get the Sajids back.”