Irene Clennell
Irene Clennell was deported from the UK despite being married to a Briton for 27 years Go Fund Me

Irene Clennell, a young-looking 52-year-old, came to Britain from Singapore in 1988. She was given indefinite leave to remain. She's been married to a British man for 27 years, has two sons, a young granddaughter and was happily settled in County Durham in the north east of England. Then abruptly, cruelly, she was taken away from her family, incarcerated in a detention centre for a month, then deported to Singapore without being allowed to say goodbye to her family. She had £12 in her pocket.

Still in shock, she said: "It is a bloody disgrace, they treat me like a terrorist and anything else under the sun... They say I have exhibited disruptive and violent behaviour." Well, wouldn't you?

One reason Mrs Clennell lost the right to remain was because she spent long periods of time in Singapore looking after her dying parents, something the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Care Minister David Mowat have extolled – taking care of our elderly relatives.

For this daughterly duty, she faced the most severe of punishments. But at least she got her story told. Most victims of state tyranny don't.

You might not have heard of the Jamaican woman ( too scared to give her name) who was deported after her British husband died. They too had kids, left behind. Or Parveen, a Pakistani mum of twin boys, who divorced her abusive British Pakistani husband and was deported. She chose to leave the children with the dad because in her homeland she is an outcast and has no resources.

You might not have heard of Beverley Boothe, a 52-year-old mother of five, a criminology graduate who in 2013 was issued with a deportation notice. She had come as a teenager from Jamaica to join her British Jamaican parents and after 34 years, lost her place in this country. Or secret charter flights which take back asylum seekers to unsafe nations. Or the hundreds of young people who, once they turn 18, are returned to Afghanistan, Iraq, and other war-torn areas.

Sometimes this happens because people simply do not know that the rules have changed – because they do all the time – but sometimes the Home Office decides to be draconian, which is what is happening at present because of the populist fury against migration.

The good news is that many ordinary Britons try to support and campaign for people like Irene Clennell and others they feel have been treated shockingly badly by the authorities. However, as most cases remain unknown, the deportations of thousands continue without accountability. And truthfully, public sympathy tends not to get aroused if deportees are black, Muslim, underprivileged or, these days, eastern European.

Feminists are reluctant to acknowledge this, but in the Home Office, powerful female politicians have shown themselves to be as ruthless as their male counterparts. Maybe even more so. In her time as Labour Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith turned into a right-wing marionette – wanting to hold people in custody without charge for 42 days and to introduce an identity card system.

As Home Secretary, Theresa May was arguably tougher on migrants and refugees than say, her predecessors Douglas Hurd or the irascible and liberal Ken Clarke. Cameron announced the UK would take 20,000 Syrian refugees and 3,000 unaccompanied child migrants. He was too weak to push those policies through and Mrs May simply ignored his pledges. Under her, the Home Office was like a well-run industrial plant where numbers mattered more than humans.

Amber Rudd, the present Home Secretary, is also proving to be a minister without compassion or compunction. Hilary Brown, managing director of the law firm Virago Consultancy Services, says she and her colleagues have noticed an increasingly hardline approach at the Home Office.

Irene Clennell will, I hope, win her battle against the Home Office. Too much bad publicity will hopefully get to the steely Ms Rudd and the deportation will be revoked. But a quick resolution of this case will only ensure the system continues to hurt, harm and terrorise others who find themselves lost in this official maze.

The UK is now a country where no incomer is ever safe and secure. It is a country where a two-tier system is developing – of those who truly belong and those of us who are here on sufferance, subject to government whims.

Millions of Britons say they want their country back. What will they do if their kids fall for "outsiders" who are then ostracised? Is this the country they long to live in?