The Possibility Of Being Deported To St Vincent Scares Me

Joan Thomas came to Britain in May 1965 Photo SKY NEWS

Vincentian national Joan Thomas is part of the Windrush generation that came to Britain as the country sought to rebuild after the Second World War.

The group is named after the cruise ship that brought one of the first large groups of West Indians to Britain.

In an interview with Sky News, Thomas said she called a Home Office helpline with her concerns over warnings that she and her peers could be deported unless they can prove they are entitled to be in the UK.

Thomas arrived at Heathrow Airport on 12 May 1965, at that time she was 12 years old, and came to join her mother.

“St Vincent is where I was born, but Britain is my home”.

“Now though, if I want to stay in the UK, it seems I need to find a piece of evidence for every year I’ve been here. Medical history, school history – they have to check it all”.

Who is going to keep an employment record back to 1972, when I started work, or their NHS access, or their P60?

It’s a daunting prospect she told Sky News.

Thomas said she have seen people in the news who haven’t got any documentation confirming their status, and that made her very worried.

“ I came here on a British passport. When I landed at Heathrow, they stamped it. I’ve still got that stamp, but I can’t recall having any other documentation to support it”.

The stamp said, “to join mother”.

I checked, and I haven’t seen a stamp that says “right to abode”. That’s what flagged everything up for me, and I’m feeling anxious – really really anxious, Thomas said.

“At the time, our parents didn’t think they had to register us. My mother didn’t, so I think she didn’t know”.

Thomas told Sky News that It is a great shock because they thought they were British. My passport said “British citizen”. My mindset is British; everything I do is British.

The possibility of being deported to St Vincent scares me. How am I going to survive in a country I don’t know?

I’ve read endless news stories, and seen what the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, is saying. She seemed very sincere when she said she would ensure that people like myself won’t get deported, but who knows?

“You don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know how they’re going to act. So we just have to wait and see”.


  1. Well all I can say if you get deported back to ST. VINCENT and you don’t know how you going to survive you just had to go with the flow.

    • I was thinking the same ….how u survived at the tender age in Britain….how them white folks surviving…like really lady

  2. When SVG became independent in 1979, were you not notified that you have a choice to remain Vincentian or apply for British Citizenship? If so, why did you not act on it??????

    • True, true, these people were so disengaged from both SVG and Great Britain that they couldn’t even bother to inquire about their legal status. I say, fire for them.

  3. Both assumptions above are thoroughly wrong and has absolutely nothing to do with the affected people’s Passports saying “British Citizen” or “British Subject”.
    This problem is that Immigration rules in the UK has changed several times since the Nineteen sixties and just a few years ago, totally new policy rules came into being in the UK.
    This new policy rule made it a requirement for residents in the UK to produce documents indicating that they have a right to reside in the UK, not only to work there but also to receives UK services.
    This new requirement of “proving legal residency” in the UK, is proving most difficult for those persons who arrived in the UK from the Caribbean legally in the early years of Caribbean UK migration, especially those arriving as young children where no Passport was required by them.
    In some case the “British Home Office” kept the “landing records” of their arrival and landing in the UK but, not anticipating the recent change in UK immigration rules, a decision was made by the UK Home Office a few years ago, to destroy those landing records, hence the problem!
    Therefore, the problem as encountered, was not these affected people’s fault, but one created by the new changes at the British Home Office. One which the British have now given assurance to resolve!

    • Yes, throw out all your documents, don’t try to regularize your residency as soon as you were legally able to do so, don’t try t get a passport — the best evidence of citizenship — simply because you don’t intend to travel, and blindly and ignorantly assume that just because you arrived in England from one of its colonies then you are automatically a citizen.
      When I migrated and then sent first for my wife and then for our children, I took off work to make sure their status was changed the day after they arrived so that they could get all the benefits they deserved. All of us secured citizenship as soon as we were eligible to do so.
      Give me a break! Some of these people need to be deported for the crimes of stupidity, ignorance, and sloth.

  4. Very touching story and although I understand her concern it’s strange for her to say that she doesn’t know how she’ll survive in a country she doesn’t know because she did survive in Britain which was a country she didn’t know at the time .

  5. Let’s just be honest and objective here,this lady has lived overseas for decades,maybe she has no close relatives at home (SVG)and all of her ties are in England. She has an honest belief like possibly 1000s of others in like situation as herself, that she is indeed a British citizen having gone through the school and work sytem there without any hassle whatsoever. If she is now to be sent back to svg after 50 years of lawful residence how can she really fit back in espcially without any ties to the country of her birth.

  6. Please spare me this sentimental BS.
    Every sovereign country in the world has a legal right and moral duty to establish whatever residential and citizenship requirements it wishes for both legal and illegal immigrants.
    Why didn’t these elderly people regularize their residence in the UK decades ago by obtaining citizenship?
    Charity begins at home: every sovereign Caribbean country, including SVG, regularly deports illegal aliens who have lived and worked there for years, if not decades. Why should Great Britain not have the same right to do so when countries like the United States and Canada — where tens of thousands of foreigners live and work illegally for years without paying and income tax — have done so for decades?

  7. This individual who calls themselves C. ben-David is writing total drivel, utter nonsense!
    There is no question whatsoever that these persons are not British, as all Parliamentarians in the UK have agreed. They are as British as any native born British person and have all of the legal rights as awarded to such. The fault is not this lady’s but the British Home Office’s.
    The problem has arisen because of recent changes in the UK, requiring all UK residents to provide proof of their Legal residence, to which these and all other persons must do, native born or otherwise.
    No one is exempt! worst no one there had ever had to do this in the past! No one ever had to provide such proof ever before. How could this lady and other British persons anticipate these rule changes?
    The PM and the Home Office Officers have admitted that they have made a most terrible mistake, in not recognising that people like this lady’s document would not have been very easy be obtained and have apologised for the gross oversight and have now agreed to pay compensation for any hardship caused.
    These elderly people’s residency in the UK is fully regularised! This individual who is calling themselves C. ben-David and who claims to be a research scientist, is a very poor research student indeed.
    According to various statements now issued by both the PM and her Home Office Minister, and other parliamentarians of all political parties in the UK, this Woman is no foreigner at all, but is as British as any other UK born resident.
    She therefore should not have any cause to worry. Her rights as a British resident is indeed totally protected and a special department is now being set up to deal with any likely problems.
    This C.ben-David should do more research, read more and listen more before writing utter nonsense!

    • The British authorities have backtracked only because unfair accusations of racism have been leveled against them not because of the questionable legal status of women like this one who couldn’t be bothered to convert her status from British subject to British citizen.
      The was not a “terrible mistake” it was only genuflection to the false gods of political correctness.

    • Your ignorance knows no limits. Who can say that his woman actually entered Great Britain on May 12, 1965? Do you have proof that she didn’t enter on May 12, 2005 instead to scam the generous British welfare and medical systems?
      The burden of proof is certainly not on the British government to prove that she is not a British citizen; the burden rests with this woman and people like her to prove that they are.
      But I guess your premise is that Vincentians never lie or try to suck on the government teat as much as possible, more reason to say that your ignorance has no limits.

  8. Give us the stats in the case of SVG Ben? Instead of racist sentiments, she should have instructed her Finance Minister to start preparing checks to each member of Caricom.

  9. Well I born 1978 and when I came here and I work my first two years I save my money and get my status sorted I make sure my kids as young as 2 get there passport for both st Vincent and Britain even if they not traveling no way. Sense make before book.

  10. Look here A.L.S or should I say C. ben-David or what ever you wish to call yourself, why would you not just keep that arrogant and foolish mouth of yours tightly shut and just try and listen and learn for once, rather than forever assuming that you and only you alone knows that which is correct and true.
    Why must you continually and forever display that gross sickness that you so sadly suffers from, this “delusion of grandeur”! This fixed false belief that you somehow possess superior knowledge and qualities to the rest of us, is getting rather quite nauseating. It is indeed the absolute sign of your most sad schizophrenia.
    For your information freak, this issue was first raised in the British House of Commons some three years ago and was quietly ignored and brushed aside because it was inconvenient. Yes that’s politics!
    When these measures that is now affecting these people was being put together, the then young Government Minister who was responsible for it, recently said, that he had many representation on the matter from various institutions but that he could not anticipate the extent of the potential problem, so nothing was done to avert the problems.
    These “old people” as you call them, went to the UK as children and had no cause nor need to do any different, as all other UK residents do. The UK is all that they know and all UK residents never had a need in the past, to produce proof of Residence nor proof of identity, unlike some other countries.
    However, under the administration of PM Tony Blair, mass migration into the UK became the norm, creating a problem and causing locals to have a feeling that they were being swamped by outsiders, who were exploiting their facilities, so Government that felt they had to know who was entitled and who was not, hence the need for the now infamous “documentation”.
    In the drive to know who was who, the Government had forgotten that those whom they had call there from the Caribbean to rebuilt the Country after the War, had brought children with them, children who were as BRITISH as any other. Those children were now grown up, had no need of Passports nor any other documentations just like all British residents.
    Therefore without writing an entire research paper regarding what all in the UK now regard as a tremendous blunder and disgrace on the part of their Government, suffice to say, the entire British House of Commons have expressed their gratitude to these OLD PEOPLE and their PARENTS, who answered the call by Britain, and rebuilt the UK after the war.
    I am sure the British PM and her Home secretary’s apology for the shocking blunder, is well accepted by the OLD PEOPLE too.

  11. Alyo Vincy people really could pull down Alyo own people boiii leave the woman alone in her age and time what she want to be back in st.Vincent for what is here for her who willingly will go and work for her and put food on her.when will Vincentians wake up and see this world how it’s going if the woman was 12 years and in UK and survive how else will she survive it’s because of her mother and maybe other people around her. now coming back to st.Vincent after so many years how will she survive at this age.Ignorance is a hell of a thing for most of us.not only her alone this is happening to there are many others in different place’s such JA T&T etc…if you cant help with something just leave it where it is and let someone who can help to do it and shut yall pipe hole with alyo bunch of negatives….if she have family down here who she don’t want to come back and meet I don’t give her wrong because alyo will sit down in Vincy while they out come Sun come Snow alyo ain’t know how they make it through the day but waiting pateintly for them to send there money if they don’t is real word alyo giving them.Vincentians alyo too ungrateful and badmind time for alyo to dash way them things they.Leave the woman alone

  12. Kason one takes it that you are in the UK for you write ” when I came here”!Therefore we take it that you live in the UK.
    If you are in the UK you must be aware that UK residents, unlike those on the Continent or in North America, never at any time ever had any need of I.D documents nor a need of a Passport, if it was never their intentions to travel.
    These affected individuals are UK residents and UK citizens who had never had any intentions nor any need to travel, therefore they had no need to produce any documents whatsoever.
    The lack of need for the production of documents, had always been the case in the UK, except for a brief period during the War years, when ID cards were introduced but was scrapped when the War was over.
    This situation all changed when the law was change recently, requiring residents to prove their entitlement to social services or to Rented accommodation or on the reentry into the UK.
    Further not only did the law change requiring residents to show entitlement, it further demanded that even if the person were to show that they resided in the UK, there is an additional requirement for the affected person to show a continuous residence in the UK since 1973.
    Therefore, even if the affected person could show that they had resided in the UK since 1973 and is employed, they needs further to show that this was continuous since 1973.
    As most UK/British residence never in the past had ever had a need to produce such documentations to anyone, and these affected individuals are as British as any other, such documentation are never at hand and most difficult to find.
    For sure, it is much easier for a UK born individual to obtain a “Birth Certificate” in order to show that they were born in the UK and to British parents, as all they need to do is make an application to the “Department of Births and Marriages” where upon such information is at hand.
    If however that individual was born outside the UK and have never ever had a need to answer such questions as to, how and when they arrived in the UK, or if they have rights to legal residency in the UK, why would they ever have anticipated a change in what had always existed in Britain for hundreds of years. No British person, no matter of origin, could have ever anticipated what this Government subsequently did.
    If however like you, who had lived outside the UK and went up there, and began working there, you may well feel the need to apply to the state for British citizenship, but you must understand that these people, are already British Citizens as is confirmed by the British Government. The new law just required them to prove it and that was totally unfair.
    These people are therefore required by the new Immigration Law that was passed in haste, to do something that no British person was ever required to do, prior to the introduction of this new Immigration Law.
    As a result all British parliamentarians are now in agreement in saying that this is wrong and are seeking to put these matters right. This you should know if you are living up there.

  13. I do wish ALS / C. beb-David would keep his stupid trap shut and stop thinking that there is no other bulb brighter than C. ben-David. What a pillock!
    An apology from the British Home secretary surely is good enough for those affected. The problem was created by the Government and the Government is committed to resolve it. SEE the following:

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