A DISABLED woman allowed a reprieve from deportation said ‘thank you, thank you’ to campaigners as she was given an emotional welcome back to Sheffield.
Lemlem Hussein Abdu was applauded by supporters as she stepped off the train in the city’s railway station.
The 62-year-old was due to be sent to Ethopia on Sunday, but her flight was cancelled after Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield persuaded immigration minister Damian Green to step in.
Lemlem has been released without conditions while the Border Agency considers her case for discretionary leave.
The campaign to stop her deportation attracted widespread support, with Bishop of Sheffield Dr Steven Croft also making representations.
Gina Clayton, who is co-ordinating Lemlem’s case, said: “This is an exceptional and compelling case.
“We won’t relax until Lemlem has a residence permit, but following the minister’s intervention we are very hopeful that she will soon have security and be able to live without fear.”
Lemlem fled her home country of Eritrea, then part of Ethiopia, in 1978.
Supporters today paid tribute to the hard work of Mr Blomfield and faith leaders on the campaign.
Sarah Eldridge, of Sheffield City of Sanctuary, said: “It has been immensely heart warming to watch the spontaneous groundswell of support from hundreds of ordinary people that sprang up in the space of a few days and led to Lemlem’s emotional welcome back to the city.”