Former soldier from Welwyn Garden City faces deportation
PUBLISHED: 09:46 10 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:36 11 November 2019
A former soldier from WGC is facing deportation - after 11 years in the UK.
Trevor Rene came to the UK from the Caribbean in May 2008 on a tourist visa and joined the British Army Reserve Forces in August of that year as a mechanical engineer.
The 50-year-old was discharged in November 2014 when he was forced to leave the reserves due to not having the right papers to stay in the country.
Mr Rene was said to have fulfilled his role admirably, and professionally and unselfishly supported his troops and colleagues according to his commanding officer.
The captain asked in a December 2016 letter if an application to stay was granted that Mr Rene be re-instated.
But every application to stay in the UK has been refused by the Home Office as in their view the Dominica national arrived as a visitor.
The ex-Army reserve did have a British passport in 1969, when the Dominica was an overseas territory of the UK. This changed in 1978 when the Commonwealth of Dominica was granted independence as a republic.
"I'm married to a British woman," Mr Rene told WHT.
"I have no plans to go away from WGC. I've made this my home. I've also paid national insurance since I've been here."
Mr Rene also thinks the Home Office has not been consistent in saying he's illegally in the UK.
"I left in 2010 to go back to the Dominica for a holiday and came back," he said.
Mr Rene said that the process of continuing applications, lawyer and court fees has cost him more than £7,000.
He also had his liberty taken away, having been detained at a detention centre in Oxfordshire for 17 days in 2016. He also had been asked to report to Hatfield police station every month but the Home Office has since said this is unnecessary.
"I can't currently work, or use NHS services. I'm stuck," said Mr Rene.
But he added he would not be giving up and hopes that the Royal British Legion will support a new application.
A Home Office spokesman told WHT: "In December 2018, Mr Rene submitted an application under the Windrush Scheme which was considered by the taskforce.
"It was decided that he did not qualify as he entered the UK as a visitor when he was 39, and the application was refused in 2019."
For Mr Rene's fundraising page, see Go Fund Me here.