A 4-year-old Liberia girl who was sent to the Netherlands in 2016 will not be deported to Liberia, the lawyer of the girl told reporters, noting that the young girl was approved for a residence permit.
Now living in Waddinxveen, Dekontee “Deedee” Elisha Grigsby was originally born in England. Custody was given to her great-grandmother, a Dutch national, with her mother unable to provide care. After her birth, the girl was brought to Liberia, where the family has roots.
Her great-grandmother then brought Deedee to the Netherlands, but upon arrival the proper procedure for residency was not followed, so the girl never received legal status, according to published reports.
The Dutch immigration service IND ordered the girl deported, claiming Deedee could be adequately cared for in Liberia. But in an appealed decision, the fact that the girl has been going to primary school in Waddinxveen for a year influenced the IND.
Waddinxveen was in turmoil after the news of the deportation became known. School director Clazien Sonneveld told newspaper AD that the entire school is very thankful and happy about the positive outcome.
“We are happy that someone has apparently come to regret, but I also wonder why it did not occur sooner. This has harmed not only Deedee, but also other children. It has caused stress and fear. Other children were also afraid that they had to leave. Deedee knew very well that she had to leave and wondered why,” Sonneveld said.