‘I can’t eat or sleep’: the woman threatened with deportation after 50 years in Britain

Paulette Wilson moved to the UK in 1968, and worked and raised her daughter here. So why was she suddenly taken to Yarl’s Wood detention centre and almost forced on to a plane to Jamaica?

Paulette Wilson had been in Britain for 50 years when she received a letter informing her that she was an illegal immigrant and was going to be removed and sent back to Jamaica, the country she left when she was 10 and has never visited since.

Last month, she spent a week at Yarl’s Wood detention centre before being sent to the immigration removal centre at Heathrow, where detainees are taken just before they are flown out of the country. It was only a last-minute intervention from her MP and a local charity that prevented a forced removal. She has since been allowed to return home, but will have to report again to the Home Office in early December and is still worried about the possibility of renewed attempts to remove her.

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