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A mum has claimed she felt “criminalised” after being asked to “prove she lives in the UK” by Manchester Airport staff.
Laurence Sauvage-Lumb, originally from Lille, France, has lived in the UK for 15 years and now resides with her husband and daughter in Ormskirk, Lancashire.
She was returning from her homeland on Thursday, April 14, but said she ran into trouble at 10.30pm.
Laurence, 52, had made the trip back to France to visit the grave of her twin who died last year.
But, passport control reportedly asked her how long she planned to stay in the country. She then claims she was asked to “prove” she lived in England.
All of this despite the fact she had lived in Britain for 15 years, was married to a UK national and had obtained post-Brexit settled status.
She told LancsLive: “When I was asked for my passport, I was asked 'how long are you planning to stay in England for?'. I said 'I live here' and she said to me 'well you're French, so can you prove this?'.
"There was no mention of settled status. I've never been so humiliated."
Apparently, Laurence stated, the error was due to a glitch which may have happened because she had renewed her passport.
The mum’s settled status, showing a continuous residence of five years in the UK, was linked to her old passport.
After a long delay, Laurence managed to get on the internet and show an email that proved she had settled status and the right to live in the UK.
She said: "It took a good 10 minutes and my husband was saying 'what are you doing? Why are you taking so long?'. It was because I had been asked to prove that I had settled status and it wasn't linked to my current passport.
"It was the hostility and blunt language that shocked me … the manner is linked to an anti-foreigner attitude. It was something I had never experienced before.
"My address in Ormskirk is on my passport. She chose to ignore that, with no apology about the ridiculousness of my settled status not being linked to my new passport – it's up to me to do it online apparently.
"For 48 hours after I was fuming. This is a consequence of Brexit and this is how we are starting to be treated in England now.”
She added: “I have never really experienced anything like that – and you don't have any right of reply about how you are being treated in that situation.
"They shouldn’t assume that criminals are trying to enter England; it certainly felt just like that, as if I was being criminalised, and I can't be the only one.
“It's a hostile attitude; it's damaging to the UK and I didn’t need this extra stress."
Manchester Airport was contacted and referred us to the Home Office for comment. The Daily Star contacted the Home Office for comment.
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