Multiple Latvian citizens living in Britain are waiting to be deported back to Latvia. This is because they had previously ignored notifications from the British Foreign Affairs Ministry. The ministry has begun taking strict measures against immigrants. If an immigrant fails to submit an official place of work or residents, authorities can decide on their deportation from the country, LNT News TOP 10 programme reports.
Four Latvian citizens are currently awaiting deportation. One of them is Gvido Osins, who was brought to an immigrant detainment centre nearly two weeks ago. British authorities consider him a homeless person, as he failed to submit an official housing rent contract, as reported by LNT.
Osins says: «No one tells you where to turn for help. They only give you documents – here, sign this if you want a ticket for free for a flight to Riga and an added restriction to travel to the UK for a year. I don’t even know the name of the person who made the decision. It’s not the court’s decision to deport me to Latvia,» he said.
It is unknown when British authorities plan to deport Gvido and three other Latvians. Those detained at the centre have their smart-phones confiscated. Instead, they are given phones without cameras. According to Gvido, most of the people detained at the centre are illegal immigrants from Africa and Pakistan. He says he has no clue why British authorities think it is necessary to deport EU citizens even before Brexit, the programme reports.
British immigration attorneys interviewed by the programme said arrests of EU citizens, their detainment in immigrant centres and deportation from the country is definitely a recent trend. A person who tried asking a policeman for directions how to get back home was detained because of his bad English. That person was later deported because he could not reach English. Migrants who end up in such detainment centres find it very difficult to get legal assistance, says Adrian Berry, immigration affairs attorney.
Another Eastern European person was detained because he lost an ID card. Another foreigner as detained in relation to a birthday party organized in a park and involving alcohol.
Although Berry mentioned that the UK has the right to deport criminals, what is shocking is that after the referendum many Eastern European citizens who had committed no crimes received deportation notifications out of the blue, LNT reports.
British Foreign Affairs Ministry explains that EU citizens who are not employed or self-employed in the UK must have enough financial means for them and their family to avoid becoming a burden for the British social support system. «If EU citizens do not comply with our requirements, they have no right to belong in the United Kingdom and they can be deported,» a representative of the ministry explains.
Neither Latvian embassy in London nor the Foreign Affairs Ministry have any information regarding any calls for help from Latvian citizens in the UK. Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics: «As long as Britain remains an EU member state, our compatriots should not experience any discrimination.»
The minister discussed this matted with representatives of the British government in London this week. «We reached an agreement. I also had a conversation with the Brexit affairs secretary. In any case, if the embassy receives information about some discriminatory deportation order or other form of discrimination, the embassy will report it to British authorities. We will look at matters together,» Rinkevics said.