Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Downing Street rejects request to discuss Windrush generation's immigration problems

Downing Street rejects request to discuss Windrush generation's immigration problems

As previously reported by The National, changes to the United Kingdom immigration system has meant that tens of thousands of people who moved to the country between 1948 and 1971 could be deemed to be illegally resident in the country and may even face deportation to their "home" nations - some of which the people have not returned to since they made their homes in Britain.

Prime Minister Theresa May is under pressure to resolve the status of thousands of British residents who arrived from the Caribbean decades ago and are now being denied basic rights after being incorrectly identified as illegal immigrants.

In recent years, however, changes to United Kingdom immigration law have caused significant problems for many of them. In 2012, May described the measures as designed to create a "hostile environment" for people who were in the United Kingdom illegally.

Some British residents, some of whom moved to the United Kingdom from the Caribbean more than 50 years ago, have been threatened with deportation, while others have lost their jobs.

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

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.

But Number 10 said that the PM only became aware of the request this morning and hoped to meet as many of them as possible this week, while they are in London for the Commonwealth summit.

The home secretary, Amber Rudd, is expected to provide more details in a statement in the Commons on Monday afternoon.

But many have gone through months of agony.

This has meant that people who are now either pensioners or are approaching that age, and who have spent their working lives paying taxes in the United Kingdom and often working in public services such as the National Health Service or in the general infrastructure of the country, raising children who are legally resident, are now facing uncertainty.

"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.

The Tottenham MP said it was a "national shame" that it had taken so long for the government to speak on the issue, calling it "inhumane and cruel" for those who waited for them to act.

"That's before I was born". "They find themselves abandoned and made destitute by a country they have given their lives to", he told Sky News on Monday.

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

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". "The government needs to make a clear guarantee that people seeking clarification of their status should have their rights guaranteed while they are doing so", he said.

An online petition calling for an amnesty for those who arrived in Britain from Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean as children, and a lowering of the level of documentary proof required from people who have lived here since they were children, has now attracted more than 136,000 signatures.

'People should not be concerned about this - they have the right to stay and we should be reassuring them of that'.

She 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".

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