Home Office Sends 100 Letters Threatening Deportation by Mistake

It has recently come to light that the Home Office has mistakenly sent approximately 100 letters to individuals informing them that they are liable for deportation and detention. In an exclusive in the Independent, it was revealed that the letters were issued “in error” and officials are still trying to get the bottom of how these letters could be mistakenly sent.

If you have recently received a letter from the home office and are concerned about Brexit deportation, get in touch with the team here at IAS as we may be able to help.

The letters inform the recipients that that are to be deported from the UK under immigration law because they have failed to provide evidence that they are exercising treaty rights. The UK has not yet left the European Union, so there are no changes to EU citizens being able to exercise their right to freedom of movement throughout the UK.

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “A limited number of letters were issued in error and we have been urgently looking into why this happened. We are contacting everyone who received this letter to clarify that they can disregard it. We are absolutely clear that the rights of EU nationals living in the UK remain unchanged.”

One of the people caught up in the mishap is Finnish academic, Dr Eva Johanna Holberg. She lives in Brighton with her British husband and lectures at a UK university. She reported receiving the letter out the blue which prompted her to call the Home Office to get to the bottom of the letter. After being passed between different departments, she was advised to contact her local MP. Dr Holberg’s local MP is Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, who has responded to the letter accusing the government of “turning lives upside down” by “callously playing hard ball over Brexit”.

There is still much uncertainty about the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and some MPs have used this error to call on the government to clarify its position and offer EU citizens some reassurance. If you have been affected by the events outlined in the blog, get in touch with your local IAS office.

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