Britain's Sky News: 15-year-old Ukrainian girl fighting 'scary' deportation
A Ukrainian teenager, Iryna Mynich, 15, has been fighting to be allowed to stay in the UK since her mother's death four years ago, according to Sky News, a British TV news channel.
She's currently living in Cornwall with couple Terry and Heather Voysey who she was staying with when she heard her mother had been shot in Ukraine in 2012, Sky News reported on Saturday, August 27.
So far her appeals to be granted "leave to remain" in the UK have been unsuccessful with officials saying she should return to live with her grandmother.
A final hearing will take place in Wales on Tuesday.
Iryna told Sky News she fears for her safety if she is sent back.
"I've heard a lot of what is happening there while I have been here and it's scary – murders, burglars, everything. It is scary, it's no life," she said.
The youngster wrote to Theresa May while she was Home Secretary begging to be allowed to stay.
Her Cornish guardians have also written to the Home Office arguing that the gran she is meant to move back in with in Ukraine is suffering from dementia and unable to care for her.
Terry Voysey says that it hasn't cost the UK anything for Iryna to stay as they have paid for her schooling and she also pays to use the NHS.
Legally, Iryna is viewed as a migrant rather than a refugee or asylum seeker and Mr Voysey believes she is being used as a scapegoat because the Government is under pressure to cut immigration levels.
He said: "I'm embarrassed that a country that has set itself up as 'Great' Britain can focus all of its efforts on a child in a desperate situation where there is nothing to be gained from it other than destroying a family."
UN: Refugees at highest ever levelFigures released this week showed that net migration stayed at a near-record level of 327,000, more than three times the Government's target.
Professor Brad Blitz, a migration expert at the University of Middlesex, said children's welfare should be paramount in cases like Iryna's.
He said: "If we think about the long standing commitment Britain has made to protect the rights of the child, we have to ask what is in the best interests of the child and clearly it looks like staying in Cornwall with the host family is in her best interest."
Sky News contacted the Home Office for a statement. A spokesperson said: "It would be inappropriate to comment while this case is ongoing."