• Rosy Leveque

Email your MP to support Henry Smith's Chagos Amendment at Report Stage

Please can you help raise awareness for a small minority of people affected by the Nationality & Borders Bill. We are being ignored because asylum seekers and refugees have priority with this Bill. However the very first section of the Bill relates to Nationality & Citizenship for the British Overseas Territories, and MPs are working to correct the anomalies from previous Bills to make sure children from all 14 British Overseas Territories receive their rightful British citizenship by descent. One of the British Overseas Territories is Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory). Our history is different to the other territories as our parents and grandparents were forcibly removed by the British Government in the 60s and 70s, and we need the Bill to include our small community as a different clause. Please help us by emailing your local MP below. You can check who your local MP is by inserting your postcode HERE. Change the bold red text below before emailing. Thank you so much!

Dear Honourable Member INCLUDE YOUR LOCAL MP's FULL NAME,

I am writing to you in relation to the Nationality and Borders Bill, currently in Committee Stage in Parliament. I wish to bring to your attention the Citizenship and Immigration issues concerning Chagossians (descendants of Chagos Archipelago/BIOT), defined in UK law as the British Indian Ocean Territory. The Bill in its current state does not cover the British Citizenship and Immigration issues the Chagossian community faces. The situation of the Chagossians is fundamentally different from that of the 'natives' of other inhabited British Overseas Territories. It is not possible for them to be born on the islands of BIOT due to the Order in Council since 2004 which bans any Chagossian from living on their native land. Their parents and grandparents were forcibly removed from their indigenous lands and native homes and forcibly deported to Mauritius and Seychelles to make way for a US military base in the late 1960s and early 1970s. If they had not been removed the descendants of the natives of Chagos would have both British Overseas Territory Citizenship and British Citizenship. However, under the present laws many of the 1st generation and the majority of the 2nd generation in exile cannot claim British Citizenship. At present the children and grandchildren are being born in Mauritius and Seychelles and not Chagos Archipelago. This means the children and grandchildren receive only citizenship of Mauritius with no recognition of their ties to British Nationality. Through no fault of their own, the descendants are inescapably being born away from the BIOT. This is causing severe stress of family separation and division in the families of Chagos bloodlines. MPs Henry Smith and Andrew Rosindell are vocal supporters of the Chagossian community. Henry Smith will be introducing the Chagossian amendment at Report Stage of the Bill. This will go a long way to fixing the historical mistreatment and human rights violation of the Chagossian community by the British government. This amendment will allow the descendants of Chagos Archipelago to register as British Overseas Territories Citizens and British Citizens. The descendants would have been granted this Nationality anyway, if they were allowed to remain on the native lands of their parents, grandparents and great grandparents and ancestors. All descendants of Chagos Archipelago; children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and grandparents ask for your support to back Henry Smith's amendment. This Bill is one of the only opportunities to rectify their Nationality and Citizenship issues. Their grandparents have suffered since their deportation from their homeland. They continued to fight for their rights, although abandoned in slums and abject poverty in Mauritius and Seychelles. Now they watch their children and grandchildren being deported by UK Home Office. Thousands being spent on immigration lawyers, the little money they managed to save in Mauritius, all for nothing because of the issues with the law. Their grandchildren deported and sent back to the slums of Mauritius with no family, no support network, no means of a better future. Their small community has suffered enough. We ask you to please support Henry Smith's amendment on their behalf at Report Stage, on behalf of all descendants of Chagossians and all family and friends of Chagossians, we thank you. Learn more about BIOT Citizens here.

Yours sincerely and with hope, INCLUDE FULL NAME INCLUDE ADDRESS AND POSTCODE

INCLUDE PHONE NUMBER

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