A Ukrainian girl whose mother was murdered will today learn if she will be deported, after spending the past four years with her adopted family in the Westcountry.
An immigration tribunal is being heard in Newport today to determine the future of 15-year-old Iryna Mynich-Voysey.
Her foster parents, Terence and Heather Voysey, are expected to attend and have desperately been trying to persuade the Home Office not to deport her.
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Iryna, who is from Chernobyl, first came to Cornwall on a respite holiday to escape the radiation which still blights the region following the nuclear power plant disaster in 1986.
But during her time in Cornwall, her mother was murdered in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
Mr and Mrs Voysey will attend the hearing with Iryna and have had to make contingency plans in case she is not allowed home.
In July Iryna spent the final day of the school term at Bodmin College saying goodbye to her friends.
Mr Voysey said last week: “She knows we are not going to abandon her, but quite what we do if things don’t go our way is another matter.
“We are trying to be an ordinary family while this is going on in the background.”
Iryna’s only relatives in Ukraine are an aunt and a grandmother in her eighties, who suffers from dementia, and whom the Home Office insists is capable of taking care of Iryna.
Iryna’s aunt, who also suffers from health issues, lives near the conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine and 20km from the nearest town with a school.
On its website, the Foreign Office warns people not to travel to the area which, despite a ceasefire, sees ongoing clashes between Ukrainian armed forces and Russian-backed armed separatists.
“We are talking about a child’s life here,” Mr Voysey said. “I’m disgusted that in a democratic society it can even be considered sending a child orphan back to a country that is at war and where there is no support for her. It beggars belief.
“As I have said before, Iryna is no cost to public funds because we are paying for everything. The government is showing contempt for the court’s time and for public funds.
“This has caused a lot of heartache and grief for us and for Iryna.”
The Home Office says it will not comment on ongoing cases.