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Last Updated: Monday, 7 January 2008, 11:57 GMT
Deportation for island 'Asbo' man
John Garcia (Picture: Daily Post)
John Garcia in happier times as a child (Pic: Daily Post)
A man who spent most of his life living on Anglesey has been deported to the Philippines for breaching an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo).

John Garcia, 20, has not returned to the country since he was four, does not speak the language, and has no close family or friends there.

It emerged he had never applied to become a British citizen while he was in youth custody for breaking an Asbo.

The Home Office does not comment on individual cases.

On Monday Mr Garcia was escorted on to a flight to Bahrain on the first part of his journey.

He said he was looking forward to being a free man after being locked in immigration centres for 11 months, and before that in a young offenders' institution.

However after arriving in the Philippines he said he intended to seek advice about whether he could bring a case against the government for infringing his human rights.

Speaking from the Colnbrook detention centre near Heathrow before being deported, Mr Garcia said he had already twice appealed unsuccessfully against the decision.

For whatever reason, he's just kept on offending and a lot of people will say it is about time something was done
Cllr Hefin Thomas

"They said I would be able to adjust to life over there and that it was for the public good," he said.

"I am a medium risk of harm to the public, apparently, and have a high risk of re-offending."

Mr Garcia, known to his friends in the Pentraeth area of Anglesey as 'JR', first came to the UK when his mother, Rosanna Glover, married a Welshman and settled there.

He admits to a string of convictions, mostly involving low-level anti-social crime.

It was while he was serving a term of youth custody for breaching an Asbo that he was told of the deportation

As he approached the end of his sentence last February, he was handed over to immigration officials and has been held ever since.

"So, they don't want to release me to the streets because I'm a foreigner, I was born in the Philippines," he added.

Extreme

Keith Best, the chief executive of the Immigration Advisory Service, and a former Anglesey MP, said the decision seemed unjust.

He said he believed the case fell outside the current legislation to deport foreign nationals who have been jailed for a year or more.

"It seems extreme to me that he is being deported," said Mr Best.

"The fact is he has never lived in the Philippines, not since the age of four."

A spokeswoman for the Border and Immigration Agency said they did not comment on individual cases, but added: "Foreign nationals are expected to obey the laws of this country in the same way as everybody else.

"If they do not, they can expect to face prosecution and removal from Britain."

Mixed reaction

There has been limited support for Mr Garcia in Pentraeth.

Anglesey Councillor Hefin Thomas said. "For whatever reason, he's just kept on offending and a lot of people will say it is about time something was done."

But he said he did not know if deporting the 20-year-old was right.

"I think it will be a sad day for his family," he added.



SEE ALSO
Brothers lose latest asylum bid
05 Jan 08 |  South West Wales
Pupils back deportation family
21 Dec 07 |  South West Wales

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