Few people would argue that there should be an open door policy on immigration into this – or any – country.
But by the same token, outside the more extreme end of the right-wing, few people would refuse to recognise the benefits that immigrants have brought to this country – not just in recent times, with legions of NHS workers who have made their way to the UK to bolster our health service, but going back over centuries. We’re a melting pot of a nation, and have been since the Roman invasion of AD43.
The story we carry on the front page and on page 5 today crystallises many of the arguments around the modern-day question of who to let stay here.
Most surveys into the subject find that the British public want to see less immigration allowed – a YouGov poll in February said that 70 per cent of people wanted immigration stopped or drastically reduced – and that’s echoed in many other forums.
But on the other hand, when the stories behind the figures are told, it is often hard to see why an appeal to live in the UK would be turned down – and often the subjects become a cause celebre, as happened to schoolgirl Yashika Bageerathi, who was deported to Mauritius earlier this month despite a vocal campaign in support of her.
In the case of Ms Jamare, having fled violence she has busied herself helping others through the Red Cross asylum drop-in centre – and the testimonies from people working there show the high regard in which she is held.
It would also be cruel in the extreme if she was separated from her partner Steven Cooke, who has terminal cancer, and it is heartless that Mr Cooke has been told that he must move to Zimbabwe in order to continue the relationship, given that he is undergoing chemotherapy at the moment.
Immigration cannot be allowed to happen unchecked, and it is quite right that it is built around a legal system, and not the whim of border officials.
But we would hope that there is sufficient understanding in the system to recognise that Molly Jamare plays enough of a role in the Portsmouth community to be given leave to stay.