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Jamaica man threatened with deportation from Britain after 52 years

A Jamaican man who has lived 52 years in England has been threatened with deportation from that country, a move that has been heavily criticised for its perceived heavy-handedness by the Home Office.

Several UK newspapers including the Guardian and the Daily Mail have reported on the story of 60-year-old Anthony Bryan, who has lived in Britain since 1965, when he arrived from Jamaica.

According to reports, Bryan, who lives in north London, arrived in Britain when he was eight and has lived in the country ever since, going to primary and secondary schools in the capital, working and paying taxes as a painter and decorator and helping to bring up his children and seven grandchildren. 

Despite that he was sent to an immigration detention centre in November and booked by Home Office staff on a flight back to Jamaica.

A last minute intervention by an immigration lawyer meant his place on the plane was cancelled and he was released from the detention centre last week. 

However, his situation remains uncertain and he's been left dumbfounded by his treatment by the Home Office which has left him feeling 'depressed'.

Bryan told the Guardian “I feel they could have treated me better than this after I've been here 52 years.”

His local MP Kate Osamor described his situation as “barbaric.”

She said: “People are left wondering: how can someone who has done so much for the community be treated like a piece of rubbish? Why send people to detention when they have done nothing wrong?”

UK Government guidelines state that anyone who settled in the UK by January 1,1973 has the right to remain in the country. But, Bryan has struggled to find sufficient documents to prove he arrived in Britain before then. He was so young when he arrived in Britain, he travelled on his older brother's passport as both his primary and secondary schools either destroyed records or only keeps them for the last 20 years.

During the last 40 years he has worked as a painter and decorator and has national insurance records to show he was in regular employment. But Bryan was made to stop work in 2015 when he applied for a passport and the Home Office's immigration enforcement contractor, Capita, told him he had no right to remain in Britain.

Mr Bryan's case is the latest in a series of Britons who have been threatened with deportation despite living in the country for the best part of half a century.

In November, 61-year-old Jamaican-born Paulette Wilson, who lives in Wolverhampton, was almost kicked out the country despite living in the UK for nearly 50 years. She is still waiting to be legally recognised by the government. Ms Wilson was looked after by her grandparents when she arrived in Britain in 1968. She attended primary and secondary school and has 34 years of National Insurance payments. She also has a British daughter and grandchild. During that time she has never returned to Jamaica. 

However she received a letter saying she had 'no right' to remain in the country and was then detained and taken to the Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre. 

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