Allow me to take your mind to three different places:
Think back to when you were 3 years of age. I suspect your memories are hazy at best - mine certainly are. Our lives only properly begin from the age of 4. From this age we begin to form our own autonomy, our own social networks, our own self identity.
Now jump forward to being 10 years old. It is incredible how much we develop in those 7 years. We now have a good understanding of our surroundings, our friends, our place in the world.
Lastly, I'm asking you to take yourself to somewhere much more difficult. Imagine, as a normal, 10 year old child, that this understanding of the world around you is suddenly removed. Your family, friends, teachers gone. Your home, your street, your community gone. Suddenly, you find yourself living in another world, in an alien environment, under the custody of strangers, unable to speak the same language as anyone else.
For me, this is too horrible to be imagined. But the government is acting to inflict this exact situation on a 10 year old girl.
Precious Mhango fled from Malawi 7 years ago came to the UK from Malawi with her parents after her father was granted asylum. Sadly, the father was abusive towards his wife, Florence, so she fled with her daughter to Glasgow, and settled there. Precious speaks English (with a Glaswegian accent), attends primary school and is an ordinary young girl.
However, since Florence andPrecious came to the UK as the family of a refugee, their legal status was tied to an abusive man. If they are deported, the family of the husband are highly likely to take custody of Precious. It is just plain wrong that a mother and her young girl's life can be shattered by the government because of the actions of her abusive husband/father.
Our asylum laws weren't designed to cope with situations like this, but instead of showing some compassionate common sense, the government is insisting on following the letter of the law - even when it clearly produces unjust outcomes. The Home Secretary has discretionary powers to grant leave to remain to Florence and Precious, and I urge you to take action and insist that this injustice is not allowed to happen.
What you can do:
Join the Facebook group.
If you live near Glasgow, attend the vigil being held at 5:30 this afternoon at the top of the Buchanan Street, near the Donald Dewar statue, at the bottom of the stairs outside the Buchanan Galleries.
Or simply blog about it, tweet about it, mention it to people you know, and tell them to mention it.
But please, just don't do nothing.
See also: Caron's Musings