Windrush Generation: Caribbean descendants in the United Kingdom threatened with deportation

The Caribbean issue threatened to disrupt the summit, known as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), after May (or her officials) refused to set up a meeting between her and a delegation of 12 leaders from Caribbean counties belonging to the Commonwealth to discuss immigration problems faced by what are known as Windrush-generation British residents.

He said, "It is a concerning matter but we take note that the Government has given a commitment that justice is going to be done and is in the process of being done". "Relatives of mine served during the Second World War, after that we were asked to come here to help the country.It's a bad payback for a whole community's lifetime of loyal service to this country".

There is a history of slavery, of plunder and of pillage that precedes the shameful mistreatment of the Windrush generation.

Named the Windrush generation after British ship the Empire Windrush, which arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex with 492 Caribbean passengers in 1948, "many have made the United Kingdom their home for their entire lives", says the Channel 4 News website.

They were named Windrush in commemoration of the Empire Windrush, the ship that transported them to the UK.

However, due to the very provisions of that reactionary act, numerous Windrush generation are still not officially classified as British citizens.

What is happening to them?

Desiree tells Sputnik she is pleased the scandal has finally been exposed, "this exposure is good for our community, it's about time people really know how hard it is to be an immigrant in this country, even when you've been here for 40 years".

Many of the Windrush generation had arrived as children on their parents' passports. So, if we use Jamaica as an example: they obtained their independence in 1962, which meant they were no longer a colony of the UK. Check the date on your passport containing your visa has not expired or ensure that you hold a valid document which displays your immigration status. Britain desperately needed black West Indian workers 70 years ago.

"I don't know any other country. To take someone out and just throw them out, like they had no worth", Braithwaite said.

Britain can only atone for this damage caused in the world by adopting policies exactly opposite to the ones now in place.

"This compensation must be applied retrospectively to all of those Windrush children who have spent money on legal fees and legal advice, documentation fees, lost their jobs and been denied access to benefits and public services, including our national health service".

What has the reaction been?

In an article for The Voice newspaper, Nokes says: "The overwhelming majority of the Windrush generation already have the immigration documents they need, but some - through no fault of their own - have not".

The controversy has also stoked fears among the three million citizens of the European Union who live in Britain and wonder about their status next year after the country leaves the EU.

Those who arrived before a change in the law in 1971 had an automatic right to settle in the UK.

This was central to the Tory government's efforts to bring net migration down to the "tens of thousands" as part of their adoption of policies demanded by the UK Independence Party, which was winning over swathes of Tory supporters.

On Monday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced a 20-person team to help those affected produce evidence of their right to be in the UK. It has taken the Home Office 16 months to respond after i requested the figures in 2016.

1973 - A new immigration Act comes into force putting the onus on individuals to prove they have previously been resident in the UK.

In her apology, May said she wanted to "dispel any impression that my government is in some sense clamping down on Commonwealth citizens, particularly those from the Caribbean who have built a life here".

Those attending the meeting included representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

  • Joanne Flowers