A British man who has never owned a passport was told that he would be deported to Uganda, despite having lived in Shrewsbury all his life.
Kyle Herbert has never even travelled abroad but bungling Home Office officials claimed that he had ‘no lawful basis’ to be in the UK, according to Daily Mail Online.
Kyle, who works for the fast food chain KFC, was astonished to receive the letter which ordered him to leave the country or risk a £5,000 fine, imprisonment and removal by force.
During the ordeal, the 22-year-old was almost sacked from his job after heavy handed immigration officers rang his bosses at KFC claiming that he was an illegal immigrant from the landlocked East African country.
He was suspended without pay for a fortnight as he desperately tried to prove he was British.
During that time, Kyle feared officials swooping in at any moment and frog-marching him on to a plane filled with illegal immigrants.
He now worries about travelling abroad as he says that he has never received any official assurance that the matter has been resolved.
Daily Mail quotes Kyle, who now works as a plasterer, saying: “It was just ridiculous. Where did they get Uganda from? I was at work and my manager called me over and said that the UK Border Agency had rang. They told her that I was wanted by the Home Office for deportation. She told me that she had to suspend me because they had told her that that they could be prosecuted and fined if they kept me on the books.”
He says he tried to get in touch with the Home Office but all in vain.
“The rigmarole was stupid, I couldn’t get through to them for days. All this time I was losing money because I couldn’t work. A week went by and another notice of removal came through, which said that I needed to report to a deportation centre. At this point, I started getting really angry about it as I still couldn’t get through to them.”
He said the letter claimed that he had ‘no lawful basis’ to be in the UK, despite being born in England to parents Phil and Tracey.
He managed to get through to the Home Office officials after a week of trying and demanded an explanation.
He said: “I explained the situation. I was hysterical. I told him that the idea of me being deported to Uganda was ridiculous. ‘I told the guy on my phone, do I sound like I’m from Uganda? I was passed on to a manager who said that they had no idea how or why it had happened. They told me to put a claim in for compensation but that was a nightmare and I ended up giving up on it. I couldn’t believe that I was having to prove that I wasn’t an illegal immigrant when I was born here (UK).”
However, a Home Office spokesperson said: “Mr Herbert was sent a letter in May 2015 incorrectly warning that he was the subject of enforcement action. When the mistake was identified in October 2015, we wrote to Mr Herbert to acknowledge the error and apologised.”
Kyle has decided to speak out about his ordeal after seeing the Windrush scandal unfold.
His ordeal comes after an unprecedented fortnight of turmoil for the Home Office, with internal minister Amber Rudd resigning after she said she had inadvertently misled the Home Affairs Select Committee over deportation targets.