The widow of a Derry cancer victim has called for a more compassionate immigration regime after being threatened with deportation.
Constance Jordan was informed last week by the Home Office Visas & Immigration Section that her application to settle in Derry as the bereaved partner of her late husband, Martin, had been refused.
Martin Jordan, originally from the Lecky Road, was just 57 when he lost a four year battle with throat cancer last May.
The couple met in Florida in 1975 and got married in 1988 but despite building a 43 years relationship, Mrs. Jordan was told she had no right to stay in Derry and was likely to be deported if she didn’t file for an Administrative Review.
“Martin was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. We’d been living in Florida until his cancer diagnosis. He got a message from his older sister. ‘Mammy’s got your ticket, come home for treatment.’ He was gone two days later in January, 2015 to be here,” said the US-native.
Mrs. Jordan joined him in May, 2017, exactly one year before he passed away.
“I just came here with a round-trip ticket not knowing what was going to happen; what we were going to do. Once I was here I realised I’ve got nothing to lose, I need to be with my husband,” she said.
Constance also lost her son Andrew to Leukaemia in 2007. She is now working on a one woman show called ‘Good Grief’ about ‘Turning Devastation into Celebration’ as her only means of making a living as a result of her status.
“I’m appealing for public support against my deportation and trying to raise awareness about how spouses are treated when their partner dies,” she maintained.
SDLP MLA Mark Durkan, who is assisting Mrs. Jordan, said: “I will be asking the Home Office to try to be more compassionate when they are dealing with such cases, but compassion is not something the department is known for.”
He said his Constituency Office was dealing with increasing numbers of deportation cases.