A London-born actor has claimed he is facing deportation to Jamaica, just days after the Home Office opened visa pathways for winners of awards.
After battles with the Home Office, Ace Ruele Aristotles’ Limited Leave to Remain was downgraded to temporary and must be renewed every 30 months, costing £2,389 each time.
“Why should I pay every 30 months for limited leave to remain in the country I was born in and, if I don’t, be faced with removal? I didn’t immigrate from another country, I can’t go anywhere else,” he told the Independent.
Aristotles, who has been seen in Eastenders, The Legend of Tarzan and New Blood, has three children in the UK, only visiting Jamaica twice in his lifetime, as a child.
In a statement released this morning, using Aristotles’ birth name, the Home Office said: “Mr Kentake’s Indefinite Leave to Remain was revoked as a result of criminality.
“He was subsequently granted Limited Leave to Remain which enables him to stay and work in the UK. It is incorrect to report that he is facing deportation.”
Born in the UK’s capital to a Jamaican mother, who did not have UK citizenship at the time, 33-year-old Aristotles was given the indefinite Leave to Remain.
However, in 2008, the then 19-year-old actor was convicted of offences including robbery and jailed for three years.
Aristotles then spent five months in an immigration detention centre where he successfully challenged deportation.
Due to his offence five years ago, the actor’s status was changed to limited leave to remain.
“I feel like I am being punished twice for a mistake I made years ago.
“I take responsibility for my actions but, at the end of the day, I’ve served my time, have never reoffended and I’m not a threat to society,” the actor said.
Aristotles’ stable employment and strong family ties helped him push back against the decision to downgrade his status at a tribunal, where an immigration judge ruled in his favour.
However, after a government appeal, another judge overturned this decision, claiming that despite being a successful actor, he had a “financial incentive” to re-offend and failed to demonstrate family ties.
“At the point where my Indefinite Leave to Remain was revoked in 2016, I’d been out of prison for four-and-half years, completed my license, worked with the community and was genuinely moving forward with my life,” the actor continued.
Collaborating with the Metropolitan Police and Hackney CVS charity on outreach initiatives, the actor has been talking to young people at risk of offending.
The actor, who is currently being paid for work in the UK, is also set to appear in Eternals, a new Marvel film starring Angelina Jolie and Richard Madden.
“I could’ve been used as an example of someone who has turned their life around after going through the criminal justice system – instead the Home Office is harassing me.”