Woman facing deportation after nearly 50 years in UK can stay

Image source, Paulette Wilson
Image caption,
Paulette Wilson has lived in the UK since 1968

A woman who was facing deportation from the UK after living in the country for almost 50 years has been given official leave to remain.

Paulette Wilson, 61, arrived in Telford from Jamaica in 1968 aged 10 but in August 2015 the government stopped her benefits and she was later detained.

Her solicitor said Ms Wilson has been left "traumatised" by the experience.

Emma Reynolds, the MP for Wolverhampton North East, has "demanded" an apology from the immigration minister.

The Home Office said: "Once Ms Wilson made the correct application and provided evidence of her residency in the UK, she was issued with documentation confirming she has indefinite leave to remain here."

Media caption,
Daughter hears her mum is coming home after being detained in Yarl's Wood

Government guidelines state that anyone who settled in the UK before 1 January 1973 has the right to remain.

When Ms Wilson's benefits were stopped, she became "dependant" on her daughter and had to move to Wolverhampton to live with her.

In October, Ms Wilson was detained and taken to the Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre, where she was held for a week before she was released.

Image source, South Beds News Agency
Image caption,
Yarl's Wood is the main removal centre holding women and families facing deportation

Solicitor James Wilson handled Ms Wilson's case and said they would be applying for judicial review, on the grounds she was unlawfully deprived of benefits. He said they hoped she would be able to claim compensation.

"She'll never get over it, she's traumatised and has nightmares from when she was detained."

Ms Reynolds tweeted: "My constituent should never have been detained & treated in this way. Have demanded an apology but still no reply from Immigration Minister."

Ms Wilson is now applying for her own home in Wolverhampton.

She was looked after by her grandparents in Wellington, Telford, when she first arrived in Britain.

She has remained in the country, never visited Jamaica, and has 34 years of National Insurance payments. She also has a British daughter and grandchild.

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