Latest update concerning Adriana Ortega-Zeifert

Photo taken on the 25th September 2019 of Adriana stating, “Motherhood & domestic violence shouldn’t limit or define personal & professional opportunities to women.”

We understand that many academic staff, students, and activists have been asking us what has happened to Adriana Ortega-Zeifert following her hearing in family court that took place on Wednesday 2nd October. For legal reasons, Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC) cannot discuss any further Adriana’s current situation.

However, Adriana has relayed this message to us:

“Thank you to all my supporters who have raised over £2,000 in my fight to keep my family together in the UK. The kind words that you have left on my fundraiser has uplifted me during bleak times and given me the strength to continue on. It’s been a very hectic few weeks for me legally and otherwise. I cannot go into details. Unfortunately, the way things are looking, my case to keep my family together & to remain in the UK will be a long one. Please help me reach my target goal so I can get the legal support to help me win this fight!”

Please continue to do these four things to support Adriana’s struggle to keep her family together and to remain in the UK. They are the following:

1. Donate to her JustGiving fundraiser for to help pay for her legal costs. Adriana needs to raise £10,000 for her & her daughter’s fresh claim application and their solicitors fees. Any funds you can donate at this time would be much appreciated. The link to Adriana’s JustGiving fundraiser can be accessed here:

2. Sing this URBC letter in support of Adriana. Join the over 300 academics, students & UCU members who have endorsed a statement from URBC demanding that the Home Office give Adriana & her daughters leave to remain and for the University of Manchester to allow Adriana back on her PhD course. You can sign and share the statement here:

3. Join 2,000 supporters who have signeda petition demanding the Home Office not deport Adriana & her daughters back to Mexico:

4. Have your UCU branch pass our motion for Adriana! We are also asking UCU member to specifically pass this emergency motion in support of Adriana and her family:

Motion for Adriana

This motion notes:

Adriana Ortega-Zeifert is an international student from Mexico who came to the United Kingdom in April 2010 to pursue a PhD at the University of Manchester, having been awarded a scholarship to pursue her groundbreaking research.

Professor Peter Gardner, Adriana’s supervisor, states that she is: “doing some really cutting edge research in the field of prostate cancer diagnosis using state-of-the-art analysis system including collaboration with leading US researchers at the University of Wisconsin. Her work on cancer associated fibroblasts is ground breaking and is just waiting to be finished off before publication.”

However, Adriana was forced to take an interruption from her PhD studies as a result of mental health issues brought on by years of sexual, emotional, financial abuse and parental alienation at the hands of her ex-partner while he was also a student at the University of Manchester.

Because of her severe depression, PTSD and the side effects of antidepressant sertraline, Adriana failed to send  her second extension visa application to the Home Office. As a result, the University of Manchester withdrew her from her PhD studies. 

Compounding matters, Adriana has been instructed by family court that her three daughters must return to Mexico to visit her ex-partner. Adriana and her three daughters want to remain in Manchester. Because of the hostile environment policy, if they are forced to return to Mexico, there is no way that they would be allowed to re-enter the UK for ten years or more. 

Already people in Manchester and around the UK are supporting Adriana’s struggle; over 2,000 individuals have signed Adriana’s petition demanding that the Home Office grant them leave to remain status in the UK. Close to 300 academics, students, and union members from UCU and Unite the Union have signed a letter from Unis Resist Border Controls demanding the Home Office to grant Adriana and her three daughters leave to remain & for the University of Manchester to bring Adriana back on her course. 

This motion resolves

1. To pressure University of Manchester to allow Adriana Ortega-Zeifert back on her PhD course, to resume her important groundbreaking research.

2..To demand the UK family courts give primary custody to Adriana Ortega-Zeifert. 

3. To demand that the Home Office grant Adriana Ortega-Zeifert and her three daughters be granted leave to remain in the UK.

4. To donate £150 from local branch funds for Adriana’s ongoing legal costs.

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