World

Theresa May to hold 'Windrush' meeting with Caribbean leaders after U-turn

Theresa May to hold 'Windrush' meeting with Caribbean leaders after U-turn

Today the flags of the Commonwealth are flying in Parliament Square to mark this week's meeting of the Commonwealth heads of government, yet Downing Street rejected a formal diplomatic request from the representatives of 12 Caribbean countries to discuss the immigration crisis facing Windrush Generation British residents. This meant that their legal status changed despite living, working and paying tax in Britain for decades.

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". Some arrived on their parents' documentation and never formally applied for British citizenship or a passport.

Interior minister Amber Rudd is set to announce a team to ensure no one will lose services or entitlements, and that if people apply for new documents, the usual fees will be waived, the BBC reported.

In a tweet accompanying the article, the Home Office said Nokes "dispels the myth that this government is clamping down on Commonwealth citizens".

And she said: "I do not want any of the Commonwealth citizens who are here legally to be impacted in the way they have".

The Home Secretary admitted she did not know how many had been deported. In 2013, her ministry displayed billboards on vans telling illegal immigrants to "Go Home or Face Arrest".

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.




Mrs May is to meet her counterparts from Caribbean states in the margins of the Commonwealth summit in London on Tuesday amid growing anger about individuals facing the threat of deportation and being denied access to healthcare due to United Kingdom paperwork issues.

She added: "We will handle every case with sensitivity and will help people understand what is required and help them gather the information they need". Most of them, so called after the name of one of the first ships that arrived from Jamaica in 1948, are citizens of the United Kingdom and colonies, a type of citizenship conferred by the British Nationality Act of 1948.

Number 10 said the Prime Minister only became aware of the request on Monday morning and hoped to meet as many Caribbean leaders as possible this week.

"The Home Office is treating these individuals like criminals whenever they come into contact with the state and this situation has left thousands of people too scared and anxious to seek to clarify their own status for fear that they will be stripped of their status or deported back to a country that they have no memory of and is certainly not their home".

The Government has been accused of being "cruel and inhumane" after many long-term immigrants who arrived from the Commonwealth as children have been told they are in Britain illegally.

The Home Office's renewed guidance, published last week, offers no security or certainty.

The policy was introduced to achieve the Government's lower migration targets, by making "living in the United Kingdom so unbearable that immigrants will decide to leave of their own accord", says Bush.


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