Anna Lo MLA said: “It’s time that the Home Office had a heart on this issue. 2008 simply must not be allowed to start on such a devastating note. This is a total disgrace. It appears that Aderonke and her family is now facing deportation to Nigeria, and Comfort and her family may also be deported in the next few days.
“We appealed on compassionate grounds for both Aderonke and Comfort, and their families to be allowed to stay here. These families have integrated into East Belfast and have made it their home. The whole community wants the families to stay and the government should follow the wishes of local people.
“Local politicians and friends have led a robust campaign to stop the deportations of Comfort, Aderonke and their families. There has been an overwhelming groundswell of support for them.
“I would appeal to the Home Office to listen to the people of Northern Ireland let the families stay here for good. The Home Office simply must not go over the heads of local people and ignore their wishes.”