Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Government apologises for treatment of 'Windrush generation' of migrants

It was under Theresa May's stewardship of the Home Office that the decision was taken in 2013 to make the UK a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants. AP Prime Minister u-turns on Windrush meeting as ministers admit crisis should not be happening
Kenny Thornton | 17 April, 2018, 02:50

Thousands of Commonwealth-born immigrants, who came to the United Kingdom up to 70 years ago as children, are now being denied access to healthcare and told they may be deported because they do not have proper paperwork.

She urged anyone who is unsure about their immigration status to apply for a card to confirm their status from the Home Office, which was "currently establishing a dedicated contact point for people with questions and applications".

But who are the Windrush generation?

However, despite having been in the United Kingdom for the majority of their lives, the group of British residents have begun to experience issues as a result of tightened United Kingdom immigration requirements.

But the majority arrived in Britain on parents' passports and never applied for travel documents.

Their problems include difficulties when finding work, getting NHS care, accessing benefits, or trying to secure housing.

However, Ms Nokes - when asked if Windrush generation residents had been wrongly removed from the United Kingdom - told Channel 4 News: "Potentially they have been and I'm very conscious that it's very much in error, and that's an error that I want to put right".

The Home Secretary launched an unusual attack on her own department as the Government faced severe criticism over the treatment of the "Windrush" generation of British residents.

Nearly half a million people left their homes in the West Indies to live in Britain between 1948 and 1970, according to Britain's National Archives.

The Home Office is stripping people of the rights that our government itself granted them decades ago.

Amber Rudd, the home secretary, will face MPs for Home Office questions at 2.30pm in the House of Commons and is expected to receive heavy criticism.

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May's official spokesman said: "She deeply values the contribution made by these and all Commonwealth citizens who have made a life in the United Kingdom, and is making sure the Home Office is offering the correct solution for individual situations".

"Theresa May must apologise for this mess which has taken place as a direct effect of the hostile environment she created".

The Home Secretary said: "I wouldn't want anyone who has made their life in the United Kingdom to feel unwelcome or be in any doubt of their right to remain here".

Those born in the West Indies who settled in the United Kingdom throughout the 1960s are now generally referred to as the Windrush generation.

A Home Office official said the rejection had been because the subject of the meeting was not clear.

Ministers are facing heavy criticism from church leaders and MPs today over their handling of thousands of long-term immigrants who are told they face deportation after decades in the UK.

Theresa May will meet Caribbean state leaders this week after deportation threats to "Windrush generation" immigrants sparked widespread alarm. The burden of proof must be changed and an apology must be made for the undue suffering caused by this heinous example of Home Office inhumanity.

May only became aware of a request for a meeting on Monday morning, and will discuss the issue with counterparts from Caribbean nations this week, her spokesman said.

Mrs May's official spokesman said: "She deeply values the contribution made by these and all Commonwealth citizens who have made a life in the United Kingdom, and is making sure the Home Office is offering the correct solution for individual situations".

"She is aware that many people are unlikely to have documents that are over 40 years old and is clear that no-one with the right to be here will be made to leave".

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