A Glasgow jazz singer is facing deportation after she was told she is living in the UK illegally – despite having been born here.
Musician Bumi Thomas’s parents are from Nigeria and arrived in the UK at the end of the Windrush Generation era. 35-year-old Bumi recently received a letter telling her she had 14 days to leave the country.
This is despite being born in Glasgow in June 1983 – just months after a change to the automatic right of citizenship for children of parents from former British colonies.
At the time, Bumi’s parents, who arrived in the early 70s, were unaware they should register their daughter under the British Nationality Act. Now living in London with her sister Kemi, she believes she is indirectly the latest victim of the Windrush scandal.
Bumi spent most of her childhood, from the age of three until she was 18, living with her father in Nigeria but has spent almost all of her adult life in the UK.
She said: “I had a National Insurance number, I had my birth certificate, I’d got a driving licence, a bank account, I went to college.”I believe I am British.”
After being refused a UK passport 10 years ago, Bumi was granted temporary leave to stay in the UK and applied for permanent residency. A fortnight ago she received a letter informing her that application had been refused and she had 14 days to leave the country, or she could be detained and deported.
The letter revealed her right to remain had ended because she had split from her partner, who was a British citizen. She has appealed the decision.