EastEnders actor faces deportation to Jamaica despite only visiting twice as a child

·2-min read
<p>Born and raised in London, Ace Ruele Aristotles has three children in UK</p> (Instagram/aceruele)

Born and raised in London, Ace Ruele Aristotles has three children in UK

(Instagram/aceruele)

A British actor, who has appeared in EastEnders, faces deportation to Jamaica despite having only visited the country twice as a child.

Father-of-three Ace Ruele Aristotles, 33, was born in London but his Jamaican mother did not have British citizenship.

Despite being given indefinite leave to remain in the UK, he was sent to an immigration centre for five months in 2008 after he was convicted of offences including robbery, according to the Independent. 

The actor, who has also appeared in The Legend of Tarzan and New Blood, said he fell into the “wrong crowd” during his youth and successfully challenged deportation at the last minute.

His status was changed to limited leave to remain in 2016 meaning he has to pay £2,389 every 30 months to stay in the UK.

He said: “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.”

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A judge ruled in Mr Aristotles' favour when he went to court about the decision to withdraw his status but the government appealed to another judge to get the decision overturned.

It claimed he had a “financial incentive” to reoffend and had been unable 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“At the point where my Indefinite Leave to Remain was revoked in 2016, I’d been out of prison for four-and-half years, completed my license, worked with the community and was genuinely moving forward with my life,” he said.

After successfully appealing his deportation, Mr Aristotles secured several acting jobs, appearing in films and TV shows.

He received a letter from the Home Office threatening him with deportation a few years ago and is now without a nationality because he does not hold Jamaican citizenship.

It prevents him travelling for work and he claims he has lost out on opportunities abroad without any access to benefits. 

“I’m effectively stateless – viewed as neither a citizen of the UK or Jamaica,” he said.

“I try not to sit down and dwell on this situation because it’s a lot to go through, feelings will flair up. I’m bound to the limitations that the Home Office has dished out and thinking about all of the work I missed out on, which could’ve gone to make my name more established, is upsetting.”

A Home Office spokesperson 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.”

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