Gay Kenyan granted refugee status in the UK
A Kenyan facing deportation from the UK has won his five-year battle to remain in the country after being granted refugee status.
Kenneth Macharia, a 41-year-old who plays rugby for Bristol Bisons, an inclusive rugby union club, won an appeal in the immigration tribunal against Home Office, who wanted to remove him from the UK.
His team Bisons also stated learning he was granted a Refugee status.
“We can very happily announce that Ken has been granted refugee status in the UK, meaning he can live and work here for the foreseeable future. Thank you to everyone who has offered their time, money and support throughout the fight,” Bisons said.
— Bristol Bisons RFC (@bisonsrfc) July 19, 2021
Macharia made headlines in 2018 when the Home Office issued a removal notice and detained him.
A campaign was started to have him stay in the UK, and over 180,000 people signed the petition asking the Home Office to let him stay.
In 2019 he was released from detention, but the Home Office noted it would continue pursuing his deportation.
Macharia went to the UK in 2009 on a student visa; his post-graduate and work visas were extended severally.
According to a statement by 33 Bedford Row, Macharia said that he had his hope crashed too many times since 2016, and he can’t help wondering what will go wrong again.
“When I tell people close to me the news, they are jumping with joy and excitement; I put on a smile and pretend to share the same level of enthusiasm. It’s been a very long struggle since 2016. I have had my hopes crushed too many times. I can’t help wondering what will go wrong. The sadness has not gone away. I used to be optimistic. It will be a while before I am again,” he was quoted by 33 Bedford Row.