Woman nearly deported after 50 years in UK wins leave to remain

Paulette Wilson, 61, says it would be nice to get an confession after being detained at Yarls Wood immigration centre

A grandmother who was told she was an illegal immigrant, detained in an immigration removal core and threatened with expulsion despite having lives in Britain for 50 years has finally received official leave to remain in the UK.

Paulette Wilson, 61, a former cook who dished food to MPs in the House of Commons, has been denied the advantages and access to healthcare and denied permission to work for the past two and a half years. After a few weeks in Yarls Wood immigration detention centre in October, she was may be necessary to Heathrow for deportation to Jamaica, a country she had not inspected since she left at persons under the age of 10 and where she has no subsisting relatives.

An intervention by Jim Wilson, a lawyer who works with the Refugee and Migrant Centre in Wolverhampton, helped avoid Paulettes deportation to Jamaica. He said her newspapers had come through uncommonly rapidly once the case was highlighted in the media.

Paulette Wilson with her daughter, Natalie Barnes. Photograph: Fabio De Paola for the Guardian

She has been treated abominably, he said. It is significant that they picked on a susceptible person someone who cant read properly, who has no knowledge of the system and no funded to get legal advice. There are plenty of other people in this situation, we just dont know how many.

Wilsons MP, Emma Reynolds, said: This is not an isolated case and I have asked the Home Office to assess how many beings in Paulettes situation are being treated in this appalling way.

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