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Derbyshire immigrant says being kicked out of UK is a death sentence

A Derbyshire asylum seeker says he has been “condemned to die” because the Home Office has rejected his application to stay in the UK.

George Warkus has spent a decade working in the country as a cleaner but now suffers from such serious health conditions that he believes a return to his native South Africa would kill him.

Along with kidney disease and diabetes, Mr Warkus has osteoporosis, hypertension, a cyst in his eye and post traumatic stress disorder.

He says he has spent more than £17,000 on applying for leave to remain in the UK but all of them have been rejected.

Mr Warkus came to the UK in 2005 on a working holiday visa because he wanted to build a better life for himself and worked hard for many years.

He said: “With the crime and stuff in South Africa, my British family told me to come across and see if I can make a better life for myself.

“I came across to the UK to save my life, I’ve got chronic kidney failure and the treatment in South Africa is not good at all.”

He got a job as a cleaner in Derbyshire, working for an agency.

Before his visa ran out in 2007, Mr Warkus began applying for leave to remain without success.

He said: “I was told that if I found a company that was willing to sponsor me and support me, I was allowed to work. I got a new job cleaning for the Royal Mail, I’ve always done cleaning.”

Then, around a year later, Mr Warkus’ health deteriorated and he had to undergo two major operations, one to remove a kidney and the other to remove his pancreas.

Mr Warkus said: “They gave me three months’ leave to remain then so that I could recover but then they said they wanted me to pay privately for my treatment.

“I used to pay for National Insurance when I worked, I used to contribute a lot in taxes. I worked 16 hours a day.”

Unfortunately, the pancreas transplant failed. That would soon become the least of Mr Warkus’ worries.

In 2015, He received the devastating news that he was no longer allowed to continue working and was fired from his job.

He said: “They took my work away from me, somebody said I was working illegally but how could I be when I was paying tax and insurance.

“I’m living with my family in Ilkeston now, I lost my accommodation because I lost my work and I couldn’t afford it.

“I’m not a lazy person I’ll work. I’m not here to claim benefits, I never have been and I never will, if they allow me to work I will be happy.”

After the pancreas transplant failed, Mr Warkus was put back on the waiting list for donors.

But, soon after he was fired from his job, he said he was also kicked off the waiting list.

George Warkus, 40, believes he will die if he’s sent back to South Africa

“I went back on the list because it is going to kill me, that’s the truth,” he said.

“I wanted to go back on the waiting list to be normal, to be a normal person and not worry about stuff like that.

“I was suspended from the waiting list because they think ‘why should the NHS pay for my transplant?’

“But it’s someone’s life you’re talking about, why are they treating me like this.”

At the moment, Mr Warkus reports regularly to the immigration reporting centre in Loughborough to prove that he is not working.

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He said he can be detained at any moment but he continues to fight for leave to remain in the UK.

Mr Warkus added: “Nobody seems to care, they’ve condemned me to just go back to South Africa and die, because that’s what’s going to happen.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “All applications are considered on their individual merits and in accordance with the immigration rules.”




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