Irene Clennell: Singaporean faces deportation after living in UK for 27 years

Irene Clennell was given an indefinite leave to remain in Britain after her marriage.

Singaporean woman fights back to stop deportation after living in UK for 27 years
A British citizenship medallion is seen in London April 14, 2011. Reuters

A Singaporean woman, who has been living in the UK for 27 years and is married to a Briton, faced deportation after being detained during a routine appointment in January at an immigration reporting centre in Middlesborough.

A BBC report stated that Irene Clennell was given an indefinite leave to remain in Britain after her marriage. It is believed that the time which she had spent in Singapore caring for dying parents was the reason for revoking her residential status.

"The kids were born here, my husband is from this country so I don't see what the issue is. But they keep rejecting all the applications," the 52-year-old Irene told BBC before her arrest.

"I have got no family in Singapore and I have no property in Singapore. My parents are dead. My only family is a sister, and she is working in India. My husband is British. I do not see why I cannot stay."

According to BBC, Irene had made repeated attempts in Singapore and back in the UK to re-apply for permission to live with her husband. But all went invain.

"My granddaughter - I want to see her grow up. And my husband is not getting any better. I want to be with my family. If I do go back, I don't know when I'll be able to see them again," she said.

Irene tied the knot with John Clennel in 1990. Her 50-year-old husband, who is a gas engineer by profession, is in poor health and Irene was his primary caregiver. She does not claim state benefits and is not even allowed to work.

"Since Irene's been detained, my mum's been coming over to get my meals and so on," John said. "I just can't believe this is happening. It's a disgrace. She hasn't claimed any benefits here and I've worked nearly all my life, so I can't see what the problem is. She doesn't cost the state anything," he added.

"Clennell's case is one of the many cases of how arbitrary policies tear apart families and ruin lives," said Nazek Ramadan, the director of UK's Migrant Voice. "These kind of bureaucratic decisions are a direct result of a relentless drive towards unrealistic migration caps that don't take real lives into account," Ramadan added.

When the Home Office was asked for a response regarding this case, it said: "We do not routinely comment on individual cases."