19-year-old campaigner Flores Sukula, of Bolton, went to the Home Office in London this week to hand in a petition of 2,500 signatures in support of her family’s anti-deportation campaign.
Five of the Sukula family’s six children – including an eleven-month-old baby – face being taken into care as a result of support being withdrawn from the family under the newly introduced Section 9 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004. The family fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and hope to build a new life in Bolton.
The petition included a number of signatures collected by the Bolton Evening News, which has been a strong supporter of the campaign. Flores, who is studying to be a midwife, was not allowed to meet Immigration Minister Tony McNulty in person instead, the minister spoke to a reporter from the Bolton Evening News and the family’s local MP, Brian Idden. Campaigners and activists who have been supporting the Sukula family are holding a conference next year on the impact of Section 9.