Mariam Miller has lived and worked for the NHS in the UK for nine years. She has two masters degrees and is a specialised therapist working for in the child and adolescent mental health sector.
Mariam Miller works in a highly specialised field of health care, her deportation will leave many children and adolescents without the expert care they have been so fortunate to receive.
She is 48-years-old, owns her own home and has never had a criminal record. Her only family in Australia is her elderly mother, her entire life is in the UK.
However, the UK Border Agency has decided that she cannot stay in the UK and she was given just 28 days to return to Australia. Her story made it to the press after she posted her problem to her Facebook page. It was quickly shared by over 1700 people who are outraged at the decision by the UKBA.
On Saturday 9th November 2013 she posted to Facebook: “I have been in this country for nine years. In the whole of that time I have worked for the NHS, in the child and adolescent mental health sector, helping young people of this country through sometimes quite severe mental health problems.”
“I have also contributed in taxes that whole time. I have never been unemployed, I don’t have children and I don’t have a disability. In other words, I have paid my taxes but have never required, thankfully, to draw on benefits for anything. Ever.
“As of Friday, I was given just 28 days to pack up my house, my home, my life and leave. As of Friday, I am no longer allowed to work. Yesterday, I was formally dismissed from my job without notice or severance pay, after nine years’ dedicated to the UK National Health Service, reaching a senior position in which I was held in high esteem.”
The moment the UKBA decide a person should be deported they lose their rights to work, to receive health care or any other benefits. Nine years of paying tax and being fully integrated within British community suddenly counts for nothing.
Mariam Miller came to the UK with her Italian husband nine years ago. However, the marriage failed in 2008 and in 2011 her visa expired. She applied for discretionary leave to remain and waited two years for an answer.
In November 2013 the UKBA finally replied to decline her request and give her just four weeks to emigrate back to Australia, where she has almost no family, no home, no network of friends and no prospect of employment.
She has hired Bilmes Solicitors to defend her case. Christopher Bilmes said: “I don’t think anyone at the UKBA has engaged their brain to deal with this; they’ve made decisions which are perverse. She’s been here a long time, is part of the community and is an asset to the NHS in a pretty specialised field.”
A statement from the Home Office simply stated that all applications are considered and decisions are in line with EU rules.
We do not know what will happen to Mariam. She will have to sell her home and potentially transport all her belongings to Australia and attempt to start a new life there.