Trevor Rene, who lives in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, arrived in Britain 10 years ago. Having been born in a British territory, he is now fighting to stay with his British wife in the UK.
He initially came to visit family here. His grandfather settled in the UK in 1948 – one of thousands of people who came over from the Caribbean, known as the Windrush generation.
He came to the UK in 2008 to visit his great aunt, uncle and cousins on a six-month tourist visa. During that period he joined the Army after completing three months of training and fell in love and married Diane, a clerk who works for the NHS. Mr Rene recalls being born a British citizen with a blue British passport before Dominica gained independence from Great Britain in 1978.
“I was 38 then and told I was a little too old for the Army, so they took me on in the Reserves. So I’ve been part-time – I was delivering parcels self-employed the rest of the time – but I was working in the Reserves most weekends and serving abroad for several weeks at a time quite frequently.”
Mr Rene worked as a mechanical engineer in the Reserves – fixing vehicles including tanks and SUVs – for six years.
Now the 49-year-old faces deportation to Dominica and leaving behind his family and the life he’s built here.
He first realised there was a problem with his immigration status when he applied to get a passport when his tourist visa ran out but was refused.
“My commanding officer sent the Home Office a letter to support my application,” said Mr Rene. “But they took the view I wasn’t properly in the British Army because I’m in the Reserve. It’s like saying someone who works in a Tesco Express doesn’t work for Tesco.”
Then in 2014, the Army told him they could no longer keep him on because his documentation wasn’t in order. In 2015, he was ordered to report to a police station every month and in 2016 he was kept in a detention centre in Oxfordshire for 10 days.
“It was horrendous and terrifying,” he said. “Worse than prison, because at least then you know when you will be released. I heard the guards coming in the night to take people to put them on a plane and I couldn’t sleep knowing I could be deported at any moment.”
For a person with strong British ties and who has served Queen and Country, he should never be turned away.
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)