Monday, 24 January 2011

Update on Maria Amelie: She has been sent back to Moscow.

Public protests didn’t help: Rejected refugee Maria Amelie was ordered onto a flight to Moscow Monday afternoon, after losing her appeals to remain in Norway after spending a third of her life in the country. She was accompanied onto the flight by two police officers, and her boyfriend.

Thousands have demonstrated during the past week for amnesty for undocumented workers who have been in Norway for many years. Their pleas didn't fend off Monday's deportation of Maria Amelie, Norway's most celebrated illegal alien. PHOTO: Views and News
Amelie, who was arrested on January 12 after many years as both an illegal alien and star student in Norway, had been ordered to report in to police every day since first an appeals court and then the Supreme Court ordered her release from detention last week.
When she showed up Monday morning, she was told she would be sent out of the country within a few hours. Her attorney filed a last-ditch appeal with a city judge(byfogdembete) and the judge requested a court meeting to evaluate a postponement of Amelie’s deportation. Immigration board UNE refused, however, to halt it pending the court decision.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) showed Amelie and her boyfriend, Eivind Trædal, boarding an Aeroflot flight to Moscow and sitting on the aircraft at about 1:30pm. The flight took off shortly thereafter.

Maria Amelie, shown here during an appearance on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) last week, won the hearts of many Norwegians, but not those of the bureaucrats'. PHOTO: NRK/Views and News
Amelie had been resisting her forced return to Russia, arguing that Norway “is my home.” She came to Norway with her family as a minor and stayed on illegally when the family’s application for asylum was rejected. She learned fluent Norwegian, used false identities to obtain an education and supported herself through black-market cleaning jobs.
She went public last year when she wrote a book about her life as an undocumented worker, which has turned the spotlight on thousands of others like her in Norway.
The government refused to step in and order immigration officials to reverse their deportation order, saying that would be unfair to all the other illegal aliens who are sent out of the country every week. Thousands of Norwegians have demonstrated on her behalf during the past week, arguing that she was a child when she arrived, had integrated well and proven she’d be a valuable member of Norwegian society, but to no avail.
A new public opinion poll over the weekend, however, indicated that she lost some public support in recent days. While less than 30 percent thought she should be deported last week, 48 percent supported her forced return on Saturday, reported NRK, since she had broken immigration rules.
The government did agree to ease entry requirements for deported illegal aliens as a result of her case, opening the possibility that Amelie could apply from Russia for work permission in Norway, where she already has several job offers.
Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

Hopefully Maria Amelie will return to Norway after following the correct procedures to apply from Russia for permission to be in Norway in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment