I came to join my wife here. It was very hard to settle because then there was not much opportunity as we have now. When I came to the country as an undocumented immigrant, all we had to do was manual jobs. Now you can work in care. We didn’t have that opportunity then. We didn’t have our papers so we couldn’t work properly. I would go from one manual job to another.
There was the fear of getting picked up by the immigration at any point. We had to do what we could to make a living and sustain the family. We lived in a house illegally. There was an instance, I went to work, by the time we came back, the door was already forced open by the immigration officers. I was lucky. I had to rush back to my uncle. When you have family, you will do what it takes to make it.
I was deported back to Nigeria. I was there for over a year, and I had three kids in the UK. My son was over a year old. When I called, I used to cry because I left my family uncared for. It was a sad experience for me. I had to find my way back home. I was in France looking for a way to get there, I couldn’t. I went to Germany and from there I was able to come to the UK. I have been in the UK for almost half of my life now. The place I’ve been for almost 30 years has become my home. I have established myself here. My family is here so this home.
Being an immigrant is not a crime because we have come to make our lives better. Without immigration, I don’t think this country can develop. We are the workforce. We develop this country. We should learn how to live with each other. That’s the most important thing.