Former Italian expat textile mill workers’ guaranteed stays now overturne

Published:  14 Jan at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Italian former textile mill workers who arrived in Bradford in the 1950s are now facing having to apply to stay post-Brexit.

The remainder of the large number of Italian women who were invited to the UK to work in Bradford’s cotton mills after the end of WWII now consider themselves as being English although they don’t have British passports. When they arrived, they were given certificates of registration, similar to a work permit, which were regularly updated until 1961, when they were told hey could live freely in the UK. Nowadays, those who are still alive have children, grandchildren and a life bound up in the former textile town.

As Brexit approaches, very few understand why they’re being forced to prove their long-term residency as, decades ago, they were given paperwork guaranteeing their rights to stay. The news has shocked residents in Bradford’s Italian community, with one daughter of a 91-year old Alzheimer’s victim telling local media very few residents understand exactly why they should apply for residency at this late stage in their lives.

Maria Philburn has been taking care of her mother, Margherita Althajm, ever since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and has now successfully applied for her indefinite UK stay via the Windrush programme, although she’d still got her certificate of registration. The old lady now has a biometric card confirming her residence, but her daughter is furious that her mother was forced to have her fingerprints taken.

According to a representative of the 3Million group which is attempting to protect vulnerable EU expats from negative Brexit effects, those who don’t apply for residency, whatever the reason, will immediately become illegal immigrants and may face deportation regardless of when they arrived in the UK. Immigration lawyer Luke Piper agrees, saying the risks of doing nothing are very real, in that those without permits will not be able to rent property, open or manage bank accounts or get free NHS treatment, and may even be prosecuted for committing a criminal offence.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive