Twins face asylum fight
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.”
Desperate to stay in the UK: 18-year-olds Karina and Kamila Kaya from Kyrgysztan