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Shameful Home Office efforts to deport Commonwealth citizens | Letters

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Readers respond to Amelia Gentleman’s report on people who came to the UK as children and are now, after a lifetime of work, being classed as illegal immigrants

It is shaming for citizens of a country which prides itself on its humanitarian values to read Amelia Gentleman’s report on people who arrived here decades ago as children, worked conscientiously throughout their lives, and are now classed by the Home Office as illegal immigrants (‘I’ve been here 50 years, worked night and day. No one wants to help me’, G2, 22 February). Might the supreme court judgment in favour of John Worboys’ victims offer some hope? If anything could be classed as inhuman or degrading treatment under article 3 of the European convention on human rights, surely it is these cases. No wonder our prime minister – and former home secretary – wants the country out of the convention.
Roger Downie
Glasgow

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• Your article about the “brutal immigration climate” reminded me of what happened to my father. He was born in what was Calcutta in 1927 to a British couple, the youngest of four. He and his siblings were all brought to the UK as toddlers and left to be brought up in South Wales by their maternal grandparents. In 1970 he applied for a British passport, having never travelled abroad since his arrival, at which point all hell broke loose as the Home Office had no record of his entry into the UK. He had to provide no end of documentation to prove his right to a British passport. My father was furious for, as he pointed out, no one seemed too worried about his status when he had to do his national service. His eldest brother, by now a judge, was equally put out, having spent the whole of the war fighting in Europe (soldiers didn’t require passports). However, both were eventually granted British passports. A cynic might say that it helped that they were white, university-educated professionals.
Su Coates
Lower Rudge, Somerset

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