The national scandal of the Windrush generation shows the sort of Home Secretary Theresa May was
18 Apr 2018There is a growing consensus that this Government’s treatment of the ‘Windrush Generation’ of migrants from the Caribbean has been nothing short of a national scandal.
In the week of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, the government’s treatment of these people has been exposed as shameful across the world, with anger at the Government coming from across society, the media and the political spectrum.
140 MPs wrote to the Prime Minister on Monday calling for an “immediate and effective response.” Even the Tory supporting Daily Mail and The Sunhave slammed the government over the issue.
The mounting pressure has seen Amber Rudd express regret to the House of Commons and whilst originally the Prime Minister refused to meet Commonwealth leaders about her government’s appalling treatment of the Windrush generation, she has now done a u-turn.
To clarify the current situation, the Windrush generation are British re sidents who arrived from Commonwealth countries before New Year’s Day 1973. They have a legal right to stay, unless they left the UK for more than two years.
The reason they are now being threatened with deportation is because these people are now being ordered to prove they have the right to be in the UK in order to rent property, work or access services and benefits.
This is because in 2014 the Government removed the immigration protection that existed for the Commonwealth citizens who had come here previously.
Theresa May was the then Home Secretary, and there was no parliamentary debate or scrutiny at the time.
Amazingly, it has also been confirmed this week that in 2010 t he Hom e Office decided to destroy thousands of landing card slips recording Windrush immigrants’ arrival dates in the UK. This was done even though there were warnings from staff at the time that the move would make it harder to check the records of older Caribbean-born residents experiencing residency difficulties.
This is their home, yet they are treated as illegal aliens.
Many of those from the Windrush Generation effected by the developments widely reported this week came here as children. They have been here for decades, worked here, paid taxes, set down roots and created families. This is their home and yet they have been treated as illegal aliens.
We have seen examples of where people who came here 50 years ago have lost their jobs, their homes or healthcare as a result of Home Office decisions.
Most shamefully, Immigration Minister Car oline Nokes admitted that some Windrush migrants may have been wrongly deported back to the Caribbean, saying to Channel 4 news that, “potentially they have been [deported[” and adding that, “and “I’m very conscious that it’s very much in error and that’s an error I want to put right.”
It has also become clear that that the Home Office doesn’t know how many people they have wrongly deported.
We also ne ed to be absolutely clear that this policy and this scandal did not fall from the sky. It is a product of Government policy, and Theresa May’s policy of creating a “hostile environment” for migrants generally.
As the pressure has built up on this issue, we have heard warm words from the Government about the contribution of Commonwealth migrants who have given their lives to this country, but warm words are not enough.
Now, to resolve these issues, the Tories should simply table a statutory instrument restoring the protections which were removed without debate in 2014.
Theresa May herself must also personally take responsibility for this mess. As Home Secretary, she removed the rules protecting Commonwealth citizens and as Prime Minister she has completely ignored the issue until the pressure built up.
Additionally, the Windrush Generation must have their rights as British citizens confirmed, we have to establish the facts on the deportations that have occurred, any who has been wrongly deported must be invited back to the UK immediately, with the Government considering compensation where appropriate, and those who oversaw their deportations must be held to account.
This is a national scandal and we demand justice.
* Originally published at: https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/diane-abbott-windrush-theresa-may-home-secretary/