A Dunstable grandfather who has been fighting a four year battle to remain in the UK has spoken out about how the Windrush scandal took his job, healthcare, and left him suicidal.
Family man Nick Broderick, of Northfields, came to the UK from pre-indepedence Jamaica in the early 60s with his mother, Mercedes, and sister Franzine, when he was only three years old.
Initially living in Barnet, the family moved to Dunstable when Nick was six and he attended Beecroft School and Brewers Hill Secondary Modern, later raising his own family in the town.
However, four years ago Nick claims he was contacted by the Home Office who said they needed to see evidence of how long had been in the country.
Nick claims: “They wanted to see school reports, a birth certificate, etcetera.
“I applied four times to Jamaica to get a birth certficate - £70 each time - but nothing came back! And I don’t have a passport.
“I sent off what I could to the home office, but a year later I got a call to say they hadn’t received it. But it was recorded delivery! I then sent another lot of paperwork but they couldn’t find it.
“About 14 months ago they took my job away, I had to sign into the police station, and I can’t use the NHS; if they do they could flag me up and I could be put in a detention centre. But there’s people in my situation with cancer!
“I don’t know Jamaica. England is my home and I love this country.
“I spoke to my wife, Tina, and we agreed to ‘suicide kit’ if the worst happened - that I would take pills on the plane over to Jamaica.
“I don’t sleep. I’m still tense and nervous.”
At one point, Nick claims he even got a call to say a Border Agency van was on its way to get him, but the “lady on the phone” managed to stop it.
However, he now hopes things are looking up.
Today, Nick is visiting an immigration centre in Croydon and says a case worker will be deciding whether he has the right to remain in the UK.
The journey comes after the news that Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has pledged that the Windrush generation will be granted British citizenship, and that the Home Office will now waive citizenship fees for those affected and their families, as well as scrapping language and British knowledge tests. It will also bring in financial compensation where appropriate.
Nick, a former recruitment worker, would also like to thank his family, neighbours Alan and Donna, home office/border agency staff who have fought his case, and the Dunstable community for their support.
His previous jobs have also included working on an oil rig, and lorry driving.
Andrew Selous MP said: “I am deeply upset about what Mr Broderick has been through. I have spoken to the Home Secetary about his case and written to her urgently.
“I understand that this week Mr Broderick has got an appointment with the immigration authorities. I am not expecting difficulties, but I will stand completely behind him should he encounter any further barriers.”
Nick added: “I just want to wish everybody in my position luck.”
The Guardian reported that when speaking about the Windrush Scandal, Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, told MPs: “I am personally committed to resolving this situation with urgency and purpose. Of course an apology is just the first step in putting right the wrongs that these people have suffered.”
The newspaper also reported that Ms Rudd acknowledged that the Home Office had “lost sight of individuals” and become “too concerned with policy”.