HER local Yorkshire community is defending Roseline Akhalu, a Nigerian-born kidney-transplant patient, from deportation and death.
The UK immigration authorities have hounded her, an ill woman for years. They claim she is a health tourist. Her doctors confirm that she is not.
On Thursday Roseline Akhalu yet again faces her accusers in court, as the Home Office tries to overturn earlier decisions by two judges to let her stay.
The local movement and the group Women Asylum Seekers Together, among others, have raised funds to hire a 49-seater coach.
Friends and neighbours are preparing to travel down to London to pack the public gallery at Thursday’s hearing – at Field House, Immigration and Asylum Tribunal (Upper Tier) Hearing Centre.
The other day, actor Colin Firth broke off from filming with Woody Allen in France to send a message of support.
He said: ‘I need hardly add my voice to the wholehearted love and support, surrounding Rose in her community and among her friends.
‘We all hope that the good sense and humanity displayed so far by the courts will now prevail and that her life will be saved.’
Campaigners said yesterday: ‘Roseline Akhalu is a kidney transplant patient who lives in Leeds.
‘Her doctors say she will die within four weeks if she is returned to Nigeria.
‘The Home Office don’t dispute this fact. They accept it. Yet still they relentlessly pursue Rose’s deportation as if medical evidence and judicial rulings count for nothing.
‘This is as if hers is just one more scalp in the continuing propaganda war against “benefits tourism” and “health tourism”.’
Tessa Gregory, Rose’s lawyer said: ‘Rose’s case is to be heard on 18 July at the Upper Tier Tribunal.
‘In truth, we should not be having to go through another appeal and Rose should have been left to get on with her life.
‘Rose is an upstanding and deeply loved member of her local community whose health and wellbeing has been seriously compromised by the cruel and senseless determination of the UK Border Agency to pursue her through the courts.
‘This is in spite of two judges finding in her favour and in spite of the unnecessary cost to the public purse which far outweighs the cost of her treatment.’
Rose lives in the Harehills area of Leeds in the home of Paul and Dot Cordy. Paul, a mental capacity advocate, and Dot, a retired nurse, have joined with others to protect Roseline from the Home Office attempts to deport her.