Windrush: Pair talk of detention 'nightmare'

Two grandparents tell a Parliamentary committee about their ordeal of being wrongly detained.

Anthony Bryan and Paulette Wilson give evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on 16 May 2018

A member of the Windrush generation says he was left "broken" after being wrongly detained in an immigration centre because he was unable to prove he had a right to live in the UK.

Anthony Bryan, 60, came from Jamaica in 1965 but last year was threatened with deportation by the Home Office.

He spoke to MPs and peers with Paulette Wilson, who had a similar experience.

Mr Bryan agreed with a suggestion that a factor in the way he was treated was because he was black.

He was asked by Labour peer Baroness Lawrence if he thought things would have been different if he had been from Canada, New Zealand or Australia, to which he replied: "I hate to say it, but I don't think I would have this problem".

When she asked him if he saw "race as being a big part" in what happened, he said: "In the Home Office? Yes."

The murder of Mrs Lawrence's son Stephen in 1993 led to an inquiry which found there had been institutional racism in the Metropolitan Police.

'Just gave up'

Mr Bryan, a grandfather from north London, was held in a detention centre twice, for almost three weeks, last year.

His difficulties began when he lost his job after receiving a letter informing him he had no right to remain, despite having lived in the UK since he was eight.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Windrush migrants: We weren't believed

Mr Bryan told a parliamentary committee how he had phoned his family from the detention centre to tell them: "It looks like you're going to see me in Jamaica."

He continued: "They had tickets for me - I thought I was going, to be honest."

"I was resigned because I couldn't fight any more. I just gave up," he told the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

He said he explained to the officials who came to detain him at his home that he had lived in the UK for most of his life, adding: "But to them I was lying... everything I was telling them, I had to prove that".

Mr Bryan, who was accompanied at the hearing by his partner Janet McKay-Williams, was released from the immigration centre in November after a last-minute intervention from a lawyer.

'Don't belong here'

Stories of Commonwealth migrants who arrived in the UK legally as children between the late 1940s and 1973, but have no formal documentation to prove they have the right to remain in the country, have emerged in recent weeks.

The Windrush generation is named after the ship that brought the first arrivals to Britain from the Caribbean in 1948.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
A look back at life when the Windrush generation arrived in the UK

Grandmother Ms Wilson, 61, from Wolverhampton, gave evidence to the MPs and peers on the committee alongside her daughter, Natalie Barnes.

She said that without the efforts of her daughter "I would be in Jamaica, all alone".

Ms Wilson had been looked after by her grandparents in Wellington, Telford, when she first arrived in Britain from Jamaica in 1968 at the age of 10.

She received a letter from the Home Office in 2015 and was told to report each month to immigration officials. In October last year she was detained and taken to the Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre, where she spent a week before being released.

Ms Wilson said: "The first thing I got was a letter saying I was an illegal immigrant. At the time I didn't understand it but it took me about a week before I could show my daughter I had got this letter.

"They were saying I don't belong here - I've got six months to get out."

Referring to the decision to detain her, Ms Wilson told the committee: "Where could I have run to? My family is here in England. I wouldn't have run away."

"I was thinking they were going to pick me up here and put me on the plane and probably when I get there people's going to kill me. I was thinking all sorts of things in my head."

Ms Barnes said "documents were very hard to come by, They kept telling us to go here, there and everywhere... it was just very hard to get that evidence".

Committee chairwoman Harriet Harman said she would write to Home Secretary Sajid Javid to get the Home Office to give Mr Bryan and Ms Wilson their files so they could see the information that officials had about them.

The home secretary said this week that 63 members of the Windrush generation could have been wrongfully removed or deported from the UK since 2002.

But Mr Javid, who took over the post last month after Amber Rudd resigned, told MPs he did not have information on how many Windrush immigrants had been detained.




Date: 16 May 2018 | Source: BBC

More UK News

Cancer patient feels 'privileged to be alive' after NHS trial treatment

Taking part in clinical trials can bring enormous benefits, but few people are signing u

Poor white schools 'destroyed' by rankings

Exam league tables are stigmatising white working-class schools, head teachers say

How many £1m-plus homes are sold near you?

Sales of homes for more than £1m have hit a new high. See how many were sold near you in the last de..

SNP to launch growth report on economics of independence

The report on the economics of an independent Scotland will suggest incentives to attract skilled mi..

Breast screen error 'could have been spotted earlier'

A leading cancer expert says the problems date back to 2005, but no one was properly checking the da..

Prince William to visit Israel and Palestinian territories

The visit will be the first official tour of the region by a member of the Royal Family
View More

More Telford News

 Burglar steals sentimental items from pensioner's home

A burglar stole sentimental and irreplaceable items from a retired couple'..

 Man taken to hospital after being hit by falling tree in Telford

A man was taken to hospital with arm, head and pelvic injuries after being..

 A442 closed in Telford after four-vehicle crash

Four cars were involved in a crash which closed a Telford road this aftern..

 Telford child sex abuse panel to have three lay people

An independent group to be put in charge of planning and running an inquir..

 Marches investment sites announced by International Trade Secretary

Two investment locations in the Marches have been announced as part of a ne..

 Telford & Wrekin Council to commit £100,000 to tackle homelessness

Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies is set to announce £100,0..
View More

Telford Businesses

Calendar Countdown

[[countdown here]]
[[countdown here]]

Upcoming Events in Telford

26 May 2018

Farm Shop and Arthur’s Farm Kitchen: Tues – Sat 9.30am – 5.00pm and Sun 10.00am – 4.00pm

Open Bank Holiday Mondays: 10.00am – 4.00pm


Free entry Some activities and events are chargeable

View Details

10 Jun 2018

8am - 6pm


Adult - £25.00

Children under 16 - Free

View Details

14 Jul 2018

8:30am - 6pm


Adult (16 - 64) - £15

Child (5 -15) - £5.00

Senior (65+) - £14.00

Family - £35

View Details

15 Jul 2018

11am - 4pm


Free Entry

View Details

04 Aug 2018

Practice starts at 4pm on Friday 3 August

Racing starts on Saturday 4 August at 12noon and Sunday 6 August at 10.30am


Free

View Details
View More