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VICTIMS of the government’s hostile environment revealed the impact today of losing their jobs and being separated from their partners.
Windrush scandal victim Michael Braithwaite, who arrived in Britain from Barbados in 1961, worked as a special needs teaching assistant but lost his job after being deemed an illegal immigrant.
Speaking at Glastonbury festival’s Left Field stage today, he said: “My reputation as a teaching assistant was in tatters.
“I was in a bad mental state. I didn’t know who to trust.”
Mr Braithwaite was told he needed to apply for a biometric card or face deportation, but was refused one three times.
He said: “When I was invited to tell my story on Channel 4 news I was frightened about what the consequences of that might be but thought I didn’t have much to lose.
“The evening after my story was broadcast I received a call from the Home Office apologising for any inconvenience and I was issued a biometric card.”
Mr Braithwaite called for Britain’s colonial history to be taught in schools, a policy Labour would introduce under leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Laura Clarke also told the Hostile Environment — Who’s Responsible? debate of her plight being separated from her Ethiopian husband with whom she has a three-year-old son.
The government’s minimum income requirement requires couples to earn at least £18,600 a year combined to be eligible for a family visa.
However as a single mother and as a teacher in Ethiopia, they both earn less.
She said: “My husband has only spent six months out of those three years with our son because of the government’s immigration rules.
“The government’s hostile environment is literally telling us and thousands of others that we are too poor to be together.”
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