UK PM sorry for treat­ment of Caribbean im­mi­grants

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May on Tues­day per­son­ally apol­o­gized to Caribbean lead­ers af­ter her gov­ern­ment threat­ened to de­port peo­ple who em­i­grated to Britain in the 1950s and 1960s.

At a meet­ing in Down­ing Street, May told rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the 12 Caribbean mem­bers of the Com­mon­wealth that she took the treat­ment of the so-called Win­drush gen­er­a­tion “very se­ri­ously.”

“I want to apol­o­gize to you to­day. Be­cause we are gen­uinely sorry for any anx­i­ety that has been caused,” she told the hastily con­vened gath­er­ing.

She added: “I want to dis­pel any im­pres­sion that my gov­ern­ment is in some sense clamp­ing down on Com­mon­wealth cit­i­zens, par­tic­u­larly those from the Caribbean.”

The gov­ern­ment has prompted anger in Caribbean coun­tries and at home for a clam­p­down on peo­ple who came to Britain be­tween 1948, when the ship Win­drush brought the first West In­dian im­mi­grants, and the 1970s.

They and their par­ents were in­vited to help re­build Britain af­ter World War II and – with many legally Bri­tish, as they were born while their coun­tries were still colonies – they were given in­def­i­nite leave to stay.

But those who failed to get their pa­pers in or­der are now be­ing treated as il­le­gal, and at risk of de­por­ta­tion if they can­not pro­vide ev­i­dence of ev­ery year they have been in Britain.

The row has co­in­cided with a meet­ing of 53 Com­mon­wealth heads of gov­ern­ment in Lon­don this week.

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