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Home Secretary faces renewed call to stop deportation of teenager to Afghanistan

The Home Secretary will on Friday face fresh calls to stop the deportation of a Cardiff teenager to Afghanistan.

Shadow Welsh secretary Jo Stevens will present a 14,000-strong petition and a letter to Amber Rudd, urging her to allow 19 year-old Bashir Naderi to stay in the UK.

Ms Stevens will be joined at the Home Office in London by Mr Naderi's girlfriend Nicole Cooper and her family, alongside other supporters of the campaign.

Welsh singers Charlotte Church and Cerys Matthews, who also back the campaign, are not expected to attend.

Mr Naderi fled to Britain from Afghanistan aged 10 after his father was murdered by the Taliban.

The college student has lived in the UK for nine years and speaks no Afghan languages but was ordered for forced removal by the Home Office in November.

It was put on hold after a stay of removal was obtained a few hours before he was due to board a flight to Kabul, and Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill is now considering whether to make a fresh case for deportation.

Ms Stevens said: "Bashir has been in Cardiff for nine years, he's attended school and college here and I am at a loss as to why the Home Office system means that he is now being targeted for removal just at the point where he can begin to use his education and skills to start work, and contribute to society.

"I am grateful for the support of the thousands of signatories to this petition, which I will present today along with a letter to the Home Secretary.

"The Home Office has admitted that they do not keep records of the number of young people who find themselves in this situation - having arrived as an unaccompanied minor - but it is of great concern to me that a young person whose home is in the UK should be removed to a dangerous country when they turn 18, despite having been educated here and wanting to contribute."

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