This is part of a new push to solve the ongoing situation, which has seen thousands of students struggling through costly legal battles after having their visas cancelled in 2014 in what has been defined “Britain’s forgotten immigration scandal.”
Migrant Voice and the group representing the students involved have also planned a lobby day in Parliament on Thursday 24 January.
“Public pressure works – we saw that with the Windrush scandal last year”
“This is an issue that should outrage us all. We have launched this petition, together with the students, to give everyone the chance to show their support for the students and for a political solution to this debacle,” Migrant Voice director Nazek Ramadan told The PIE News.
“Public pressure works – we saw that with the Windrush scandal last year. And these students – tens of thousands of them – are victims of the same hostile environment that destroyed the lives of some of the Windrush generation.”
The petition calls for the government to allow the students involved to re-sit an English language exam, clear the names of those who pass and allow them to finish their studies – recommendations that the pressure group included in its report “I want my future back”, launched last year with a ceremony at the House of Commons.
The case was debated in Parliament in September 2018 with 10 MPs presenting evidence to immigration minister Caroline Nokes, whose response had been deemed “disappointing” by those present.
“It’s now five years since the first allegations were made – that’s five years of suffering for thousands of students who have done nothing wrong. They need action, and urgently. 2019 must be the year they get their futures back,” Ramadan said.
“We need a solution as quickly as possible. We want to know when and how the government will solve this problem,” leader of the students’ group English Language Test Victims Sheikh Amin told The PIE.