IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Deportations are fig-leaf cover for what is racism

08 February, 2019

• I FIND it insane that the Home Office is now deporting British citizens and claiming they are “undocumented”, meaning they are no longer British citizens.

This is part and parcel of the so-called “anti-immigration hostile policy” the government claims it has popular support for since Brexit. In my view it is using immigration and deportations as fig-leaf cover for what is racism, pure and simple.

The government is basically lying to the public. The majority of people who came to Britain in the 60s and 70s came as British citizens. They were either from British colonies or Commonwealth countries.

What most people do not understand is that as a Commonwealth citizen you were automatically deemed to be a British national. This was until the 1973 Immigration Act. It then took away the automatic right of citizenship. But the law was not retrospective, which means that those already here had de facto citizenship if they arrived before 1973.

This was the case until the law was again changed in 1986. It meant that now people had to apply for British citizenship if they had been here for more than 10 years or were born in a former British colony. However, this law was changed and made to apply to previous colonial and British territories.

What happened during Theresa May’s time as home secretary is that she then introduced new rules that demanded that anyone from Commonwealth counties had to prove they were British citizens or they would be subject to immigration enforcement action, de facto deportation as an illegal immigrant.

This is the only case where a law has been made and applied in retrospect to people legally in Britain but then declared to be here illegally when they have already been in Britain far longer than they need to be to have automatic citizenship.

This is why so many people are getting caught up by this changing of the net and repainting of the lines of the tennis court. Balls declared in are now declared out by the umpire, the Home Office, which acts as judge, prosecution and jury.

This is not just bad law it also illegal law under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it is removing citizenship from people without either their consent or their ability to defend their rights.

Article 15 clearly states: “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality or denied the right to change his nationality.” This clearly shows that under UN human rights the British government is acting illegally. I ask readers to support our campaign for human rights and justice for British citizens by writing to their MP and the home secretary.

RAPHAEL ANDREWS
Former Islington councillor

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