Thousands of European citizens living in the United Kingdom can become illegal overnight. Tomorrow, on Thursday, the deadline for submitting migration documents will expire.
The problem is related to Brexit and affects several million people. After the UK left the European Union, all EU citizens living there had to settle their legal status. However, the process is not easy, many Europeans do not complain about uncertainty and bureaucracy. Veronique Delforge, a French citizen on paper, says:
“I have been living here for 26 years – should that mean something? Do I really have to prove to someone that in fact I am British? I’m French only on paper. I have lived here for 26 years – this is a big part of my life. “
According to the services that regulate the status of such citizens, five and a half million people have applied. However, activists rightly fear that not everyone was able to do this, and some may be rejected. A representative of the 3 Million movement says:
We are often approached by people in difficult situations, for example, older residents of the UK, who simply did not know that they had to apply because they have been living here for so long. We often communicate with parents who think that their status applies to children as well – and after all, a separate application must be submitted for each child.
Meanwhile, supporters of Brexit insistently demanded at the time that immigration legislation be toughened up. The result of this approach will become obvious very soon: those who did not have time or could not submit the necessary documents on time will become illegal immigrants, with all the ensuing consequences. They will lose their right to study and work, and will not be able to receive full medical care. It is no secret that many of them may be deported.