Amber Rudd sorry for 'appalling' treatment of Windrush immigrants

Howard TerryApr 17, 2018

Her 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".

The descendants of Britain's first wave of immigrants from its Caribbean former colonies are facing losing jobs and even deportation despite living and working in the United Kingdom for decades in a controversy which threatens to overshadow a meeting of the leaders of the Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonial possessions.

May will meet Caribbean leaders this week to "discuss the plight of the Windrush generation", the PM's spokesperson said today.

There is growing unease among politicians about the situation, which has affected an unknown number of people who arrived in the United Kingdom as children, but never formally naturalised or applied for a British passport.

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

Who are the Windrush generation?

Intensifying the row, junior home office minister Caroline Nokes admitted on Monday that some people may have been deported in error.

Having earlier vowed to "find out" if that was the case, Ms Rudd told MPs: "I do not have any evidence that anybody has been removed in that way".

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".

It was also put to Nokes that she would presumably want to invite those who had been incorrectly deported back to the UK.

The global development secretary told the BBC there is "no question of their right to remain" in the UK.

Unless they are able to produce documents confirming their right to live in the United Kingdom, the Home Office has threatened them with deportation.

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

"This is a day of national shame", he said.

This lack of papers was then exacerbated by May's "hostile environment policy, under which landlords, hospitals, businesses and civil society have been forced to proactively prove that their employees, tenants and service users have the right to be in the United Kingdom", says the New Statesman's Stephen Bush. Let us call it as it is: if you lay down with dogs, you get fleas, and that is what has happened with the far-right rhetoric in this country.

"This is about individuals and we have seen the individual stories and they have been, some of them, awful to hear".

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: "The treatment of the 'Windrush generation" of migrants who came from the Caribbean is scandalous.

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

The announcement came after a cross-party group of 140 MPs wrote to Mrs May calling for an "immediate and effective" response to problems faced by members of the Windrush generation.

Guy Hewitt, the high commissioner for Barbados, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning that he feels that the United Kingdom is saying to "people of my region: you are no longer welcome".

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