Migrant Tales got a phone call Thursday from an Iraqi woman* who spoke a few words of English. “Do you speak German?” she asked.
An Arabic-speaker called later the forty-year-old woman, who is one of the thousands of unlucky asylum seekers facing deportation after Finland decided to tighten its immigration policy.
The woman’s woes do not only hinge on deportation but to the fact that she is a single mother of two: her son is seven and her daughter, who suffers from mental problems and requires psychiatric help, is eight years old.
Considering the harsh lives that these asylum seekers have endured in their home countries, their misery doesn’t end in Europe but is exacerbated in some cases.
Some pictures of when her children on the left are sleeping at the railway station, where they were picked up by the police and taken to a hospital. The Italian police collected money between themselves to buy refugees food, according to her. The single mother has lost contact with her husband.
If there is a silver lining in this family’s story, it’s that they won’t be deported back to Iraq but to Italy.
Even so, Italy is no solution to her ordeal since she’ll be forced to live on the street with her children because the Italian government won’t offer her any social assistance. Apart from renting a flat, how is the single mother going to pay for her daughter’s psychiatric care and cancer treatment?
The woman’s legal situation in Europe has been a long and complex path: She was given asylum in Germany in 2009, where she lived five years. She was then deported back to Iraq but returned to Italy last year, where she got a permit to stay. She moved to Finland three months ago but will be deported.
The single mother is staying at an asylum reception center in Helsinki.
* If the Finnish media is interested in contacting and writing about this woman’s plight, you can get in touch directly with Migrant Tales at 040 8400773 or firstname.lastname@example.org.