Written by Stephen S. Thompson, this hard-hitting BBC fact-based drama, inspired by the ‘Windrush Scandal’, ‘Sitting In Limbo’ followed the traumatic and emotion-filled experiences of Anthony Bryan, who was wrongfully detained by the UK Home Office and threatened with deportation.
With a powerful cast - led by Birmingham-born actor Patrick Robinson and Nadine Marshall - this was the shocking story highlighting just one of the hundreds of stories about people who were wrongfully detained, and then deported in too many cases, by the UK government, having been in Britain; working and paying taxes, plus so many other relevant contributions, and then the long and too-often wronged path Jamaican-born British citizen Bryan follows; from his working life in the UK, his arrest, custodial spell, through to his wrongful imprisonment.
As a member of the Commonwealth and under the British Nationality Act 1948, he, and the hundreds of others in his situation, had a legal right to be granted full settlement in the country without citizenship documents.
But, having lived in the UK for some 50-years, Anthony still found himself subject to the UK government’s so-called ‘hostile environment’, which was introduced by the then Home Secretary Theresa May.
During his long and ‘emotionally-expensive’ journey to clarification of his obvious legitimacy, he loses his job and unable to claim any benefits, is forcibly removed from his home and detained as an illegal immigrant.
“The government is living ‘fast and loose’ with their deportation tactics”, Bryan’s barrister said when the case was heard in court.
But after sitting in limbo for 5-weeks in detention, and a last-minute intervention by his legal team, he was not deported.
“Even the judge criticised them (the Home Office)” Anthony’s son said.
In light of the environment which has developed worldwide, following the brutal murder of George Floyd in the US, it’s the institutionalised racism that is cutting deeper for too many for no other reason than not looking the same.
‘Sitting In Limbo’ proved to be just a ‘smorgasbord’ of what has always – and, sadly - still is overwhelmingly prominent in today’s world.