Deported County Durham Mum 'Felt Like Terrorist'
2 March 2017, 10:34 | Updated: 2 March 2017, 10:58
A deported mum from County Durham has told Heart she was made to feel like 'a terrorist' when authorities said she had to leave the country.
Irene Clennell moved to the UK in 1988 and had most recently been living near Chester-le-Street with her husband, who she married 27 years ago.
She also has two children, in their twenties, and a grandchild, who she's not been able to speak to.
The 53-year-old was taken to a detention centre in Scotland before deported to Singapore on Sunday, and is angry at how she was treated by officers.
Speaking to Heart from Singapore, Irene said:
"It was really, really humiliating for someone with just a Visa rejection."
"It made me feel like a terrorist, it's very degrading."
"Of course I was angry, I was crying and could stop, it was embarrassing."
"It's a nightmare I want to get out of as soon as possible."
Irene had been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, but this has been revoked after she spent more than two years living abroad, when she was caring for her dying parents.
A fund-raising page, set up by her sister-in-law Angela, has now raised more than £50,000 which will be put towards legal costs.
"I really appreciate that and I will appreciate it more when I can get a good solicitor to handle my case."
"Then I'll be able to thank the people even more."
In a statement the Home Office said:
“All applications for leave to remain in the UK are considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules."
"We expect those with no legal right to remain in the country to leave.”