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Ó Donnghaile urges compassion for De Souza family

26 September, 2017 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile

Sinn Féin Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile has called on British Home Office to "urgently show compassion” and allow a US citizen at the centre of a visa dispute to travel to the US to attend a family memorial.

Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile commented: "I would like to support the public call by the De Souza family that the British Home Office allow Jake De Souza, to travel to the US to attend a family memorial for his late grandmother.

“Mr De Souza is currently awaiting a long-overdue response to his legal appeal for him to be granted a residency visa to remain in Belfast with his wife Emma. The dispute stems from the Home Office’s insistence that Emma must apply as a British citizen, something she is not prepared to do and should not be compelled to.

“Tragically, this is the third member of Mr De Souza's family to die while this dispute has been ongoing and he has been unable to attend any of the funerals.

“The family are concerned not only to attend the memorial service in the US but to ensure that Mr De Souza will be allowed back into the north to carry on his residency application.

“The British Home Office should show some compassion and end their restriction of movement imposed upon the De Souza family, allow Emma to assert her full rights as an Irish and EU citizen and allow Jake to travel to the states to spend important time with his family there."

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