Published: 17:26, 15 September 2014 |
Updated: 10:36, 17 September 2014
A popular Maidstone barman faces deportation for a second time with the new date set for next Monday.
Fredel Buenavista, known as Fred, a former barman from Leybourne who has lived in Britain for 12 years, was detained last week and was due to be flown to the Philippines yesterday.
He was allowed a temporary reprieve because his step-father, Alan Pratt, was undergoing major stomach surgery earlier today.
Mr Pratt is recovering, but now Mr Beunavista - who has no roots in the Philippines - once again faces a bleak future away from family and friends.
Mr Beunavista's former colleague, friend Karan Le Quelenec, has vowed to keep fighting his deportation.
She said: "We are still trying everything we can to keep Fred here but time is against us.
"We wanted him to have some quality time with his dad today but now we need people to keep fighting."
The family is currently trying to find a human rights lawyer to take on Fred's case.
Mr Pratt said: “Ultimately we want Fredel to stay in the country.
“Don’t underestimate the power of the people, because his friends have done so much work and got us to this position.”
The former UCA student, who went to school in Dartford, left the Philippines when he was four and moved to Kent from New Zealand with his family, who are all British citizens, at the age of 20.
Speaking outside The Royal Albion, near Fremlin Walk, where he worked for several years until his work visa expired 18 months ago, Mr Buenavista said: “I was completely overwhelmed by the support, I could not express my emotions and struggled to hold back tears when I saw everyone. I must have done something right in life and been raised well for this many people to care.”
Last week MP for Chatham and Medway, Tracey Crouch, announced her support for the campaign.
She said: “I have taken this to the highest level and have requested an immediate stop on his deportation until I have had the opportunity to speak to the immigration minister about his decision.”
A petition launched last week to appeal the ruling attracted more than 3,000 signatures in three days.
If Mr Buenavista is allowed to leave voluntarily he will be allowed to apply for a new visa after 12 months as opposed to 10 years.
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