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Barking woman launches petition for ‘undocumented’ migrants to have the right to remain in the UK

PUBLISHED: 15:30 24 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:10 24 January 2018

Olubusola Ogunlowo has launched a petition. Picture credit: Archant/Ken Mears.

Olubusola Ogunlowo has launched a petition. Picture credit: Archant/Ken Mears.

Archant

A woman from Barking has launched a campaign to improve opportunities for young undocumented migrants living in the UK.

Olubusola Ogunlowo, who lives in Ripple Road, has launched a petition calling for people who have grown up in the UK without holding a British passport to be allowed to remain in the country, progress into higher education and work.

After years of state funded schooling it does not make sense to then cut off all opportunities available to undocumented youngsters once they reach working age, she argues.

“I have met a lot of people in that situation,” she said. “They can’t get a job, they can’t go to university.”

The government “wash their hands” of the youngsters once they reach adulthood, she added.

Whilst it is prevalent in Barking and Dagenham, Ms Ogunlowo said it is a problem “everywhere in Britain and Northern Ireland.”

They find it “impossible to move on in life,” it says on the petition page.

“There are many brilliant, gifted, intelligent, responsible and upstanding people over the age of 18 in the country that are unable to progress further into higher education and employment because the lack of a legal status limits them,” she added.

Ms Ogunlowo adds that when young people have no prospects and nothing to keep them busy it can lead to them becoming involved with crime and anti-social behaviour.

“If you don’t have anything to do it can lead to anything,” she said.

“They need somebody to speak up on their behalf.”

Ms Ogunlowo said that the undocumented youngsters do not necessarily need to be given UK citizenship, but employment and education laws should be relaxed to allow them to carry on building for the future and contributing to society.

Ms Ogunlowo is submitting her petition on the official government website, meaning if it gets 10,000 signatures by June there will be an official government response.

If it gets 100,000 signatures it will be considered for a debate in parliament.

The petition has got more than 450 signatures so far, having only started last week.

You can sign the petition at bit.ly/2rlmnXt.

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