Custom Search 1

Woman whose Windrush father served is facing deportation

PICTURED: Sharon Vitalis (Photo credit: Twitter)

A FORMER NURSE who worked for the NHS for more than 15 years is facing deportation.

Sharon Vitalis has been threatened with deportation from the UK, which would separate her from her two British-born children – one of whom is just 12 years old– despite living in the country for most of her life.

Ms Vitalis was born in Germany while her father was deployed to the country during service with the RAF. According to The Independent, her family moved back to the UK months after her birth.

Unlike her UK born siblings, who have never faced problems with their status, she has been told she is not British on the ground that she was not born within the nation's boundaries.

Ms Vitalis lived in the UK until the age of six, when she moved to the Caribbean with her mother and siblings to go to school. She later returned when she was in her early 20s where she begun working as a nurse for the NHS.

She faced no problem for 17 years, during which she gave birth to a daughter in 1999 and a son in 2005. However In 2013, when Ms Vitalis went to collect her 15-year-old daughter from Gatwick Airport after living with her father, she was stopped by immigration officials and taken to a detention centre.

In an exclusive with The Independent, Ms Vitalis said: “They said they were arresting me and that I was liable for deportation, and that they were going to take me to a detention centre. They took me away.

“I couldn’t believe that my father served this country and I was in this predicament with all this embarrassment.”

Ms Vitalis was later reunited with her daughter, but she was issued with deportation proceedings and therefore was dismissed from her National Health Service job.

She is currently waiting for an appeal decision in October and is unable to work or claim benefits in the meantime.

“It’s really frustrating because the information is there. I was British by birth and not by descent. If my dad hadn’t been working in Germany I would be like my other siblings,” Ms Vitalis said to the newspaper.

“They keep saying it’s because I was born in Germany, but why was I born in Germany? My father went through so much; he was the only black person on his battalion and my mum was the only black person living on the military base. My sister remembers the racism that went on in there.

“Having gone through all of that, if my parents knew I was having this problem now… I can’t work, I can’t claim any benefits, I can’t study – what am I supposed to do? I feel embarrassed.

“This has affected my children – they have no status. My son wants me to get him citizenship. I can’t pay £2,000 for something that I should not have to pay for. They’re suffering because of me.”

The case has emerged and resulted in many politicians and campaigners in the UK demanding an immediate end to what they described as the government's cruel and inhumane hostile environment policy.

This is the latest in the ongoing Windrush scandal, which exposed that thousands of Commonwealth citizens had been wrongly targeted by immigration officials, with some detained and deported.

Home secretary Sajid Javid has announced he is pausing the discredited so-called “hostile environment” for people over 30, and has renamed it the “compliant” environment.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments