Twins face asy­lum fight

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY BERNARD JOSEPHS

TEENAGE TWINS, whose de­por­ta­tion from the UK to their na­tive Kyr­gyzs­tan was halted at the last minute when Is­rael said it could of­fer them a safe haven, are de­ter­mined to stay in Bri­tain rather than make aliyah.

Stu­dents Ka­rina and Kamila Kaya, 18, said they would pre­fer to stay in Bri­tain and fight a de­ci­sion by the Home Of­fice to turn down their ap­pli­ca­tion for asy­lum. “It has been a very dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion, but we want to stay here where we have friends, and peo­ple that have be­come like fam­ily,” Ka­rina told the JC.

The girls had fled their na­tive coun­try, fear­ing for their lives, af­ter their par­ents were killed by gun­men. For three years they were cared for by Birm­ing­ham’s Jewish com­mu­nity, un­til last month, when they were seized by im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials and in­terned in a de­ten­tion cen­tre, pend­ing de­por­ta­tion.

A cam­paign in­volv­ing Jewish lead­ers, Jewish Agency of­fi­cials and Is­raeli diplo­mats per­suaded the Home Of­fice to re­lease them for a seven-week pe­riod to al­low pa­per­work to be com­pleted, clear­ing the way for them to move to Is­rael. In­stead, they now they face a tough le­gal strug­gle to re­main in the UK.

Frank Maxwell, sec­re­tary of Bir- mingham’s Pro­gres­sive Syn­a­gogue, which played a ma­jor part in car­ing for the twins, said he thought the com­mu­nity would be “dis­ap­pointed” that the girls would not be go­ing to Is­rael. “They are tak­ing a risk, but they are not mi­nors. In the end, it is up to them,” he said. The com­mu­nity “wished the twins luck and would con­tinue to look af­ter their wel­fare in a hu­man­i­tar­ian way.”

Photo: Birm­ing­ham Post

Des­per­ate to stay in the UK: 18-year-olds Ka­rina and Kamila Kaya from Kyr­gysz­tan

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