Government apologises for treatment of 'Windrush generation' of migrants

PA Archive  PA Images                   Jamaican immigrants welcomed to the UK after the HMT'Empire Windrush landed them at Tilbury east London

PA Archive PA Images Jamaican immigrants welcomed to the UK after the HMT'Empire Windrush landed them at Tilbury east London

The Government have apologised after admitting "Windrush" generation United Kingdom residents have potentially been deported to the Caribbean "in error".

A war memorial commemorating people from the commonwealth who died during the two world wars stand in Windrush Square in the Brixton district of London, Britain April 16, 2018.

After initially rejecting their request for a meeting, a Downing Street U-turn will now see the Prime Minister meet with Caribbean leaders in a bid to ease the controversy.

Changes to immigration law in 2012, which requires people to have documentation to work, rent a property or access benefits, including healthcare, has highlighted the issue and left people fearful about their status.

The issue of the children of Windrush generation migrants experiencing serious immigration issues in the United Kingdom, despite having lived here all their adult lives, will be discussed on the fringes of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting this week.

Named after the vessel that brought the first group of immigrants from the Caribbean to rebuilt post-war Britain in 1948, numerous Windrush generation arrived believing their rights were guaranteed for life, and never applied for a passport or other documentation confirming their residency rights.

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Ms Rudd was challenged in the Commons over an interview in which Ms Nokes appeared to confirm that some Windrush migrants had been wrongly deported.

Rudd said: "I do not want any of the Commonwealth citizens who are here legally to be impacted in the way they have and frankly, some of the ways they have been treated is wrong, has been appalling, and I am sorry. Will she explain how quickly the team will act to ensure that the thousands of British men and women who have been denied their rights in this country on her watch in the Home Office are satisfied?" "We want to give them a message of reassurance because I value these people".

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

Labour have pointed to changes to United Kingdom immigration law introduced while the Prime Minister herself was in charge of the Home Office.

Labour's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott told Ms Rudd the Government "must consider" offering compensation to those affected.

"Theresa May must apologise for this mess which has taken place as a direct outcome of the hostile environment she created".

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The Home Secretary admitted she did not know how many had been deported.

"My mum's got citizenship, my dad had right to remain".

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson Ed Davey accused the Home Office of "seriously failing" the Windrush generation.

Downing Street said the prime minister "deeply values" the contribution of Commonwealth citizens who moved to the United Kingdom many decades ago and stressed that nobody with a right to be in the country would be made to leave.

Prime Minister Theresa May is under growing pressure to resolve the issue of the "Windrush generation" of migrants who arrived in Britain more than 50 years ago and have become victims of a recent tightening of the immigration system.

But in a major climbdown, he said Mrs May would now meet with the representatives - and said the Home Office will issue updated guidance later in a bid to solve the problem.

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She said she had also given instructions that there were "no removals or detention" of Commonwealth citizens under the new assistance scheme.

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