Windrush Q&A: Why has the issue returned?

Maricruz Casares
Abril 16, 2018

Known as the Windrush generation - the first of their numbers came on the Empire Windrush passenger liner in June 1948 - they were the first large group of Caribbean migrants to arrive in the UK.

Ms Rudd announced the creation of a new task force in the Home Office to speed up the regularisation of the immigration status of people who arrived in the United Kingdom as long ago as the 1940s.

Were they subject to immigration controls?

Yet the Windrush generation are not illegal immigrants.

'Many came here as children, their parents invited to the United Kingdom to work. Many did so, without any need for additional documentation.

Labour have pointed to changes to United Kingdom immigration law introduced while the Prime Minister herself was in charge of the Home Office.

Her announcement came after Downing Street said Prime Minister Theresa May wanted to ensure that "no-one with the right to be here will be made to leave". In 2012, May described the measures as designed to create a "hostile environment" for people who were in the United Kingdom illegally.

British media have reported cases such as a man who was denied treatment for cancer and a special needs teaching assistant who lost his job after being accused of being illegal immigrants despite living in Britain for more than 40 years.

The bubbling controversy exploded into a full-blown scandal at the weekend.

The British government last week refused a request from the high commissioners of 12 Caribbean nations for a dedicated meeting on the subject at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London this week.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is to meet counterparts from Caribbean states this week to discuss problems faced by long-term British residents from the Windrush generation over their immigration status, Downing Street has announced.

Mr Thompson said he hoped the Government would take action this week.

Amber Rudd the home secretary has said she is concerned that her department “sometimes loses sight of the individual”
Amber Rudd the home secretary has said she is concerned that her department “sometimes loses sight of the individual”CHRIS J RATCLIFFE GETTY IMAGES

Answering questions in the House of Commons later, Home Secretary Amber Rudd vowed to "find out if there are any such people who have been removed".

But many have gone through months of agony.

More than 140 lawmakers have signed a letter calling on May to resolve an anomaly that means many people who immigrated as children between 1948 and 1971 are being denied health services or prevented from working.

"I worked as an administrator for the NHS and was told I have to leave as I did not have United Kingdom status", she told CNN. "They find themselves abandoned and made destitute by a country they have given their lives to", he told Sky News on Monday.

A petition calling for those affected to be granted amnesty has reached over 100,000 signatures, meaning it could trigger a debate in Parliament.

"It's like telling the descendants of fourth generation Irish immigrants to the USA that suddenly you might not be American after all and could be deported", Vernon told CNN.

It said: "We urge you to guarantee the status of all Commonwealth nationals whose right to remain is protected by law and to provide an effective, humane route to the clarification of their status".

Speaking to ITV News about the mistakes made in cases involving the Windrush generation facing deportation from the United Kingdom, immigration minister Caroline Nokes said: "There have been some horrendous situations that as a minister have appalled me".

Asked whether people who had been resident in the United Kingdom for decades had been deported, Ms Nokes said: "There have been some horrendous situations which as a minister have appalled me".

Immigration minister Caroline Nokes appeared to suggest that some individuals may already have been deported in error. "No one with the right to be here will be required to leave".

By switching the onus on checking documents to the private sector, such as landlords and healthcare providers, he said the system has become "blatantly racist". He said: "They're asking me to prove I'm British".

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