A London-born actor whose residency rights have been changed by the Home Office has triggered a petition to help him secure permanent stay in the UK.
The move comes over fears Ace Ruele, also known as Ace Kentake, could be deported to Jamaica, a country he has only visited twice according to The Mirror – and where he has no residency rights or citizenship.
Ruele, 33, was born to a Jamaican family and his mother did not have British citizenship, but he was granted indefinite leave to remain.
He told My London: “I’ve been working, I’ve had a family, I was born and grown here, I’ve worked with the Met Police, the London Mayor’s office, helping tackle youth violence… so why are you troubling me? I never understood why.
“You just sometimes think to yourself, ‘is there nobody in the Home Office with a heart?’”
“Is there nobody with a heart?”
At 19, Ruele was jailed for three years of offences including robbery and was allegedly threatened with deportation after his release, the i has reported.
In 2019, the Home Office granted him limited leave to remain, which means he has to renue his status every two years and a half – at an eye-watering cost of £2,389.
If he doesn’t, he could be deported to Jamaica.
But his new residency status means that he is not currently eligible to receive benefits if he needs them and cannot travel for work overseas because he does not have a passport.
In light of Windrush day tomorrow (22 June), acting union Equity has launched a petition asking the Home Office to grant Ruele indefinite leave to remain.
“Though I am not directly affected by the Windrush scandal, I can relate to the persecution that many have faced and are still facing by the Home Office,” Ruele told The Stage.
He added: “My heart goes out to them all, as my fight is their fight and the Home Office must be held accountable for its ruthless behaviour.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Mr Kentake’s Indefinite Leave to Remain was revoked as a result of criminality.
“He was subsequently granted limited leave to remain which enables him to stay and work in the UK. It is incorrect to report that he is facing deportation.”
Last month, the Home Office detained a 26-year-old man from Croydon and threatened to deport him to Ghana, where he was born but does not know anyone or have a home.
Joseph Bediako was eventually released, but girlfriend Amoura Curry told The London Economic that the government department has “stolen his will to live” and labelled the experience as “unforgivable”.
“He shouldn’t have to leave because he has the right to be here. There has been a lot of anxiety, which is not normal,” she told TLE.
She added: “The Joey I go and visit is a different person every time.
“Nobody should have to experience this.”