Twins born in London who have never left the UK face deportation to various Caribbean countries after their incarceration for grievous bodily harm.
A deportation notice has been given to 24-year-old Darrell Roberts telling him that the home office plans to return him to the Dominican Republic after his release. He believes officials made a mistake because his father had been born on Dominica Island.
His twin brother, Darren Roberts, was also warned that, according to his wife, he faces deportation to Grenada-the place where his mother was born-when he finishes his own prison term.
Darrell told The Guardian that when their mother, from Grenada, and uncle died of cancer in quick succession, he and Darren entered social care aged 13. He claims that Ealing social services were negligent because he and his brother failed to apply for citizenship on behalf of themselves.
After bashing a 35-year-old man over the head with a metal pole in Willesden in 2013, Darrell will soon be released from a six-year sentence for grievous bodily harm, according to the report. He also hurled bricks at the man’s car and committed the attack while the victim ‘s wife was watching on.
His brother’s grievous prosecution of bodily harm is unclear but it results from a different event.
Speaking from behind bars, Darrell said he was surprised to find out he is facing deportation.
He explained to the Guardian: “It was heartbreaking. I’ve finished my sentence; I was expecting to be released,” he said, speaking from prison. He tried to explain to prison staff that he should not be deported.
“It is mentally draining; the stress is unnecessary. I’ve got grey hairs and I’m only 24 years old.” He said prison staff laughed when he told them he was born in the UK and appeared not to believe him.
The deportation notice states: “Our records show you have no legal status in the United Kingdom.” The home secretary has deemed “deportation to be conducive to the public good and accordingly it is in the public interest that you be removed from the United Kingdom without delay”, the letter reads.
Darrell was also offered a reintegration package worth £1,500 to ‘return home’ if he agrees to repatriation.
“I told them I was born here that I’d been in primary school and secondary school here. They weren’t sympathetic. When I’ve tried talking to officers they say it is out of their control,” he said.
His partner and mother of his five-year-old son said Darrell spoke to her six months ago that prison staff had warned him he would be sent to Grenada at the end of his prison term.
“He said it didn’t make sense, and asked me to make arrangements to bring our son to visit him. He was shocked,” she said.
A spokesperson for Ealing council told The Guardian: ‘Ealing council’s children’s services have repeatedly engaged with both Darren and Darrell, their solicitors and the prison services to provide all documentation to allow them to apply for immigration status, in Darrell’s case as recently as May 2020, but neither of the young men signed the documentation to allow it to be progressed.’
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘Prisoners who are served with a deportation notice are given the opportunity to provide reasons why they should be exempt from deportation. All representations made will be carefully considered before any action is taken.’