EastEnders star Ace Ruele claims he’s facing deportation despite being UK born

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Ace Ruele Aristotles has claimed he's facing being deported to Jamaica despite being born in Greenwich and raised in North West London.

The EastEnders star, who portrays Sammy in the popular BBC soap opera, was granted indefinite leave (IRL) although his mum didn't have a UK citizenship at the time of his birth.

However, this was revoked after he got a criminal conviction, spending three years in jail at the age of 19 for crimes including robbery with an imitation firearm.

His status was then changed in 2015 from indefinite leave to limited leave to remain, which is temporary in its validity and will expire unless extended. It means he must pay £2,389 every 30 months for it to be renewed.

"I’m basically paying to work in the country. I’m basically paying extra money every 30 months – it’s like an additional tax – to work in the country I was born in," he explained.

"I was shocked when I found out, when it happened – when I was 21 – I was inside and they came with the letter about deportation," he continued to MyLondon. "My mum never knew that that could happen – she knew I had to get a passport to travel, but not that I could be deported or they could take my IRL or anything like that.

"I don’t think anyone who isn’t aware of immigration law would know that. You might think, you’ve been to a country, you’ve had a child there, you’re fine.

"I think my mum thought after getting herself sorted [with citizenship], I would be sorted too."

Ace went on to explain that before he "got into the whole life of gangs" he was just a teen who loved dancing and would get "attention" from girls, which "some guys didn't like".

"I was robbed, I was jumped, all of these type of things," he said. "You have one experience and another experience, and it’s like… if I don’t become this type of guy, this macho bad-boy, then I’m just going to keep getting victimised – and so that’s the reason why I went down that path."

The star, who is currently filming a Marvel movie, spent five months in an immigration centre following his time in prison, but managed to avoid being deported after challenging the court ruling, which he won.

However, after an appeal from the government, another judge overturned the decision and, according to The Independent, claimed that despite becoming a successful actor, he had "financial incentive" to reoffend.

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The star claimed he received letters from the Home Office warning him to return to Jamaica or face deportation.

"In my mind it was like… you guys left me alone for two and a half, three years. I didn’t cause no crime, I didn’t do anything – plus I’m born and grown here, so why are you trying to take my indefinite leave?" he said.

Dad-of-three Ace continued: "I’ve been working, I’ve had a family, I was born and grown here, I’ve worked with the Met Police, the London Mayor’s office, helping tackle youth violence… so why are you troubling me? I never understood why.

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"You just sometimes think to yourself, ‘is there nobody in the Home Office with a heart?’"

Ace previously wrote a letter to Home Office in 2015, suggesting institutional racism within the government could be impacting their pursuit to deport him.

A Home Office spokesperson has since issued a statement about Ace's claims, explaining: “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."

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