Two examples of UK immigration madness

Welcome to Britain sign at Heathrow airportA tale of two stories (about which I hope I’m wrong) | Minority Thought

The two stories are about two people, a man from Jamaica who moved here in the 1960s with his father, and a woman born in Canada to a British mother who has lived here since she was six months old, who have both been told that they are not British citizens and have to leave within six months, despite having spent almost all their lives here, and in the case of the woman, having British children. The blog entry above questions whether the Daily Mail, which ran the story about the white woman, will run the story about the black Jamaican man with a white British wife.

Given the Mail’s record, regardless of his wife’s colour, I don’t believe they’ll run the story, but that’s not what concerns me here. What concerns me is the fact that these two people, who have lived here nearly all their lives and are not criminals (and I don’t support automatic expulsion for anyone who is not a citizen and is convicted of a crime, but that is another matter), being denied right to remain because of obscure citizenship rules and paperwork. It may come as a shock to some people but if you were born before 1982, you can claim British citizenship through your father but not your mother. Now, most immigrants who brought young children with them will have sorted out citizenship for them if they came from somewhere like India, but as a British-Canadian couple, they might well have assumed it was not necessary.

Even if this woman is not a British citizen and does not want to be one, she should have the right to lifelong residence by virtue of a long marriage to a British citizen, having raised children in the UK, having lived here nearly all her life, and having a British parent. There should be no question of sending this woman anywhere. I also believe that these factors should automatically entitle one to citizenship without any need for a test or a fee, but they should certainly entitle anyone to residency. One can gain Irish citizenship (which entitles one to residence anywhere in the EU, including the UK) by virtue of having a single Irish grandparent.

I accept that British immigration “services” are much harsher to people who are not white, have the need for asylum, or are married to British citizens but are from less developed countries than Canada. However, we should simply not be even thinking of deporting an elderly person who has lived nearly all their life in this country because of a technicality. The government should rectify this problem now, and introduce legislation to make sure nothing like this can happen again.

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