Min­is­ter apol­o­gises to ‘Win­drush gen­er­a­tion’ over de­por­ta­tion fears

Yorkshire Post - - FRONT PAGE -

HOME SEC­RE­TARY Am­ber Rudd has of­fered an apol­ogy in the Com­mons to mem­bers of the so­called Win­drush gen­er­a­tion who have been sub­jected to what she de­scribed as “ap­palling” treat­ment by the Govern­ment.

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

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”.

And Com­mu­ni­ties Sec­re­tary Sa­jid Javid said he was “deeply con­cerned” at chal­lenges to the im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus of peo­ple who were “long­stand­ing pil­lars of our com­mu­nity”.

Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Caro­line Nokes ap­peared to sug­gest that some in­di­vid­u­als may al­ready have been de­ported in er­ror.

But Ms Rudd told the House of Com­mons she was not aware of “any spe­cific cases” and would raise the mat­ter with high com­mis­sion­ers at a meet­ing this week.

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

THE FOUNDER of the Leeds West In­dian Car­ni­val says he is “very bit­ter” about the prob­lems faced by long-term Bri­tish res­i­dents from the Win­drush gen­er­a­tion over their im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus.

Arthur France spoke amid grow­ing anger about in­di­vid­u­als fac­ing the threat of de­por­ta­tion and be­ing de­nied ac­cess to health­care due to UK pa­per­work is­sues and anom­alies af­fect­ing some im­mi­grants who ar­rived be­tween the 1940s and early 1970s.

The 80-year-old, who came from the Caribbean is­land of Ne­vis in 1957 to live with his sis­ter in Leeds, said he would not be af­fected by the prob­lems ex­pe­ri­enced by those who do not have pa­per­work to prove they are in the UK legally.

But he told The York­shire Post: “I sup­pose some might gave been com­pla­cent and didn’t re­alise they would have to get pa­per­work, they thought ev­ery­thing would be all right.

“The Govern­ment needs to take this into con­sid­er­a­tion. It won’t af­fect me, but I am not think­ing of my­self.

“We have fam­i­lies that feel very bit­ter about it. One friend came to me and said he has a cousin who is fac­ing the same prob­lem. I can’t be all right when my brother is suf­fer­ing. We are all in the same boat.

“Who­ever came up with this de­ci­sion I don’t think they have an ounce of hu­man­ity in them. This kind of thing could make any fair-minded per­son very an­gry and against the es­tab­lish­ment. I am very bit­ter about it.”

Thou­sands of peo­ple ar­rived in the UK as chil­dren in the first wave of Com­mon­wealth im­mi­gra­tion 70 years ago.

They are known as the Win­drush gen­er­a­tion – a ref­er­ence to the ship the Em­pire Win­drush, which brought work­ers from the West Indies to Bri­tain in 1948.

Un­der the 1971 Im­mi­gra­tion Act, all Com­mon­wealth cit­i­zens al­ready liv­ing in the UK were given in­def­i­nite leave to re­main – but the right to free move­ment be­tween Com­mon­wealth na­tions was ended from that date on­wards.

How­ever, the Home Of­fice did not keep a record of those granted leave to re­main or is­sue any pa­per­work con­firm­ing it, mean­ing it is dif­fi­cult for the in­di­vid­u­als to now prove they are in the UK legally.

AM­BER RUDD: Home Sec­re­tary to dis­cuss is­sues with high com­mis­sion­ers this week.

PIC­TURE: PA WIRE.

CON­TRO­VERSY: The Win­drush gen­er­a­tion be­gan ar­riv­ing in the UK in 1948; 70 years later some could face de­por­ta­tion.

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