Grandmother Irene deported from UK despite living here 28 years

Happy Couple married for 25 years have now been separated by immigration laws 

A woman who has lived in the UK since 1988, is married to a British man and has British children and grandchildren was shockingly deported today and not even given a chance to say goodbye to her family.

Irene Cullen has been detained in Dungavel detention centre in South Lanarkshire for the last month until today when she was sent back to the country she left 28 years ago.

The decision to remove Mrs Cullen came after her husband fell sick and had to have a bypass operation following a blockage in his arteries meaning he now earns under £18,600 a year so therefore fails to meet new strict immigration criteria recently brought in by the government.

And to make matters worse an appeal was unsuccessful because she spent a few months caring for her dying parents in Singapore two years ago.

Happier Times: Irene and John at their wedding

She was expecting to meet with lawyers tomorrow to launch a fresh appeal but immigration officials had other ideas and decided to deport her today with only an hours notice, meaning she has travelled with only £12 to her name with all her clothes at home.

She was also the main carer for her sickly husband who has furiously hit out at the decision.

Telling Buzzfeed news:  “I think it was done deliberately so we couldn’t contact a solicitor or go through the courts. I think it’s trickery to come on a Sunday when you can’t contact your lawyer. I need people to see what these people have done.

“She’s got nothing with her; all her clothes are here. What’s she supposed to do with £12? She’s got no clothes, no fresh underwear and nowhere to go.”

John Cullen has been married to Irene for 25 years

Mrs Cullen was hastily took to Edinburgh Airport and sent on a plane back to Singapore were the 52-year-old has nowhere to go when she arrives. Only a distant sister who has already made it clear she has no room for her.

She told Buzzfeed from the airport: “I don’t know what I’ll do when I land. I called my sister [in Singapore] and she said she can’t put me up, so I just don’t know. How can I stay anywhere? I don’t have a wallet with me, I’ve got about £12 in my pocket. I don’t even have my clothes, they’re at home. I just have what they took from the detention centre.”

After being woke up with the heartbreaking news this morning Irene was allowed one quick phone-call to her husband and family but said she was crying too much to say anything.

The government spousal system now requires the British partner of a foreign national to be earning over £18,600 a year and be able to prove long stretches of uninterrupted stays in the UK.

Irene only fell under both under requirements because her husbands poor health meant he couldn’t work for long periods and also because she recently was back in Singapore to see her ill and dying parents in their last days.

This is such a shameful story that shows how heartless how society and governments have become, this lady has lived in County Durham for 28 years, worked here, married here, had kids here has grandchildren here, has never claimed benefits in her life but yet is treated like a criminal- locked up and then forcefully removed and for what ? Because her husband has become sick ? Because her parents died ?

Absolutely disgusting.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Read: Full story in Buzzfeed

8 thoughts on “Grandmother Irene deported from UK despite living here 28 years”

  1. How absolutely disgusting!!! I cannot believe The British government has allowed this to happen, and in such an underhand and sly manner!! What did this poor family do to deserve this!!
    Her Husband is ill and she is his sole carer. She went back to Singapore at a time her parents needed her….when they were dying!!! How can this happen, when she has been here for 28 years and has never been on benefits, what’s wrong with this country??

  2. Shocking. This Government have no heart. This story is sickening, it’s absolutely disgusting what they are doing to this family.

  3. To say shes worked many years and paid taxes to this country too has a law abiding husband who by the way couldnt work through ill health and a lovely family and grandchildren too
    How can this goverment send this poor lady back when she now has no parents and a sister who has no room for her back in her own country where does she go what does she do and with no clothes and £12 in her pocket
    Have a heart Thersea May and bring her back to her home in County Durham

    1. Absolutely disgusting… it is very heart breaking for me to know a fellow Filipina and her family was treated this way. Surely, they should not fall into the new legislations because they are not new comer in the UK.

  4. firstly May and her cronies have no hearts, i wonder how many illegal immigrants they have working for them getting to stay here and getting paid buttons by MP`s, got to earn over £18,600 as one immigration official said he does not even earn that, the Tory scum think only of themselves the common person means nothing to them and the thing about it is this bastard May was not even voted in by the people

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