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Bulgarian-born regional journalist fears deportation due to Brexit

Stela GinevaA Bulgarian-born regional journalist fears she may be forced to leave the UK as a result of Brexit.

Stela Gineva, who works for Reach plc’s titles in Kent, has raised concerns about the “uncertain future” she faces ahead of the UK’s expected departure date from the European Union on 31 October.

Stela, pictured, received an MA in journalism from the University of Sheffield earlier this year, having moved to the UK in September 2018, and joined Reach as a trainee multimedia journalist in June.

She primarily works for the Dover Express, Folkestone Herald and Isle of Thanet Gazette, as well as the newspapers’ Kent Live sister website.

In a comment piece for Kent Live explaining her current situation, Stela wrote: “One of my main concerns is that I’ll be forced to leave. I know that there have been vague guidelines issued insinuating that EU citizens already here would be able to stay, but I can’t be sure.

“I mean, nobody bothered to put that on a bus and as we know, it can’t be trusted if it’s not a sensationalist statement on the side of a double decker. Having that uncertainty at the back of my mind, knowing that I might have to uproot my whole life yet again, has had an impact on my life in surprising ways.

“There’s little things like not being sure whether I’ll be here long enough to take out a phone contract and all sorts of similar mundane but essential decisions on hold. There’s bigger things like whether future immigration laws will mean that my employer will have to jump through impossible hoops to continue to employ me. Or whether I’ll even fit the criteria allowing me to remain.

“I worry about having to leave behind the life I’ve built, the friends I’ve made. My life is in a constant state of flux and it can be exciting, but it’s mostly terrifying.”

Stela went on to add that being an EU citizen from “an often vilified Eastern European country” made her feel like a “walking political statement” at times.

She wrote: “After buying a charity lottery ticket from a door-to-door salesman recently, he inquired about my origins and then went on about how he voted remain in the referendum and wanted all of us ‘lovely foreign people’ to stay. It all came from a good place, I’m sure.

“Some of my leaver friends were afraid to tell me they’d voted leave initially and were relieved that I didn’t ‘kick-off’. It is a polarising issue and I do understand why my background can cause some to walk on eggshells around me.

“I am fortunate to never have experienced overt discrimination because of my background. People have been welcoming and warm and open. The only nasty comments I have seen are under Brexit themed articles, but what’s new there?

“Online anonymity has always allowed the nasty trolls to come out. With a month left and an uncertain future ahead of me and millions of others in the same situation, I’m hoping for a miracle that will allow me to keep the life I’ve worked so hard to build.”

HTFP reported earlier this year how Barcelona-born Wales Online journalist Estel Farell-Roig had said Brexit left her feeling like a “second class citizen”.

Estel received racist abuse after speaking out on the government’s ‘settled status’ process, which she described as “humiliating” and “insulting”.

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  • October 9, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Her future is only uncertain unless she fails to fill in the paper work for her to remain and continue her work. We have a chap in our office who has dual nationality – German and Croatian and married to a British Citizen who has filled in his forms and got the green light.

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