Talking about UK immigration, for most people back home in Africa with the ideology that traveling abroad is the perfect solution to end a life of poverty, you will be shocked to find out that poverty is also a way of life for many of your brothers and sisters living abroad, forget about the social media razzmatazz. Meet Ms Yemisi Jenkins MBE this week ‘CITY ICON’. She is a top Nigerian UK Law enforcement officer who started her career in the UK with Custom & Excise, HMRC, and until last year was a manager in Border Force, responsible for Customs and Immigration officers in the busiest and biggest airport in the UK London Heathrow in the Tactical Response Command. she was also responsible for the training needs of over 100 staff. Currently, she is the Home Office National Community Engagement lead, responsible for Nigeria. In a recent interview with Oluwadamilare Okenla the CEO of minddgapent.com revealed the challenges faced by Nigerian’s and other migrants in the UK.
Ms Jenkins who not too long received an MBE award, a national recognition awarded by Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth, she confirmed she had witnessed many cases of detentions and enforced removal during her career as a law enforcement officer in the UK. She explained that the UK government is putting some very stringent measures in place to ensure that people living in the country illegally will find it very difficult to live in the country because of the strain on public services most especially the NHS and housing system because gone are the days when people could stay under the radar and stay in the country without the right papers but now the law has been toughened and this development have condemned many illegal immigrants into a low key life they now live in the UK. Now if you are illegal you can not have right to work, anyone who employs such a person stands the risk of been fined £20,000, you can’t rent an apartment, no bank account and medical services are now been paid for, a life that no one would wish on his or her enemies but the sad thing is that most people are suffering in silence and putting up a fake life on social media to fool the world she said.
She narrated that in the past, it was a bit easier for Nigerians to do what they had to do in the UK in order to obtain their residence permits when the UK immigration was not this tough, but presently, things have changed and as a result, people are trapped in the system because they can not go back home empty handed because people will tag them as a failure and also considering the fact that most of these people abandoned their lives and career back home and as time passes bye the families and friends they left behind have made significant progress in their career and personal lives.
Ms Jenkins further spoke about the solutions and advice available that most people are not even aware of. For example she confirmed that being an over stayer is not a criminal offence as the government had made it easier for people to come forward and talk to them without the fear of being arrested. If people engage with Home Office, they can chose to return home voluntarily in dignity. During the period of engagement up until they return home, they will not be arrested or detained by Immigration Enforcement. she also spoke about the one year re-entry ban scheme which allows a person that choses to leave the country voluntarily can be re-admitted after 1 year if he or she presents a valid reason and documentation to come back which is far better compared to being deported as that attracts a ten years re-entry ban that is not even guaranteed, please visit Gov.UK for more information.
And finally, Ms Jenkins explained the various supports provided by the UK government to help people to settle back at home which includes both moral and financial support. For example each member of a family can receive up to £2000 each. She is also working towards partnering with NGO’s back in Nigeria to assist returnees to reintegrate. She then advices anyone affected to speak to a good and honest lawyer to review their case and also to consider the option of going back voluntarily if they have come to the end of the road in terms of options available to them. Ms Jenkins also noted that this is not about targeting Nigerians, she has colleagues leading on India. Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, China and Vietnam doing exactly the same thing she is doing in the Nigerian and other African communities.
Do you think it’s better for people without resident permit to go back home and start all over again without certainty or they should continue to live in the country illegally with the hope things might still change in the future? Please drop a comment below
You can contact Miss Yemisi Jenkins directly on 07721237232 for more information, help and advice.
PRESS PLAY TO ENJOY SOME AFROBEAT JAMZ FROM DJ MIND D GAP