Theresa May apologizes for treatment of Windrush immigrants

Theresa May apologizes for treatment of Windrush immigrants

Changes to migration rules mean those who lack documents are now being told they need evidence to continue working, access key services or even remain in the UK.

The former worker, who is not named by the newspaper, said managers were warned by staff that destroying the cards would make it harder to check the records of older Caribbean-born residents experiencing difficulties proving their right to remain in the UK.

Ms Abbott said culpability for the fiasco rests with the Home Office.

She added that prime minister Theresa May will today meet the Commonwealth heads of government at a summit in London, and that Rudd would also meet high commissioners this week to discuss this issue as a matter of urgency.

When Britain's Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes, was asked during a TV interview whether any of these people may have accidentally been deported, her response was: "Potentially they have been, and I'm very conscious that it's very much in error and that's an error I want to put right".

Officials say it is not a Windrush case and was never an "enforced removal".

"It is inhumane and cruel for so many of that Windrush generation to have suffered so long in this condition and for the Secretary of State only to have made a statement today on this issue", he said.

The British government last week refused a request from the high commissioners of 12 Caribbean nations for a dedicated meeting on the subject at the Commonwealth meeting this week. But those who failed to get their papers in order are now being treated as illegal, and are at risk of deportation if they can not provide evidence of every year they have been in Britain.

Given what Rudd called "the uniqueness of the situation this group finds itself in", she she said she would ensure that no one in the group will have to pay for this documentation.

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David Lammy, a member of parliament from the opposition Labour Party who has argued passionately for justice for the Windrush migrants, tweeted that he had just received a call from an elderly mother whose son was due to be deported on Wednesday.

Labour said it was a "fiasco" and that culpability "rests exclusively with the Home Office".

She said: "I take this issue very seriously".

And because the Home Office, under then Home Secretary Theresa May, adopted a policy of creating a hostile environment for immigrants in 2013 they have been receiving threatening letters telling them they face deportation "back" to countries many of them have not been to since they left with their parents.

Jamaica's prime minister Andrew Holness said he did not know how many people had been affected, but it was "at least" in the hundreds.

Commenting in the light of an approach which The Guardian has described as "just cruel", Lammy called strongly for Rudd to issue a direct apology on the matter and explain exactly how many individuals had been reported as a outcome of the new policy.

Timothy Harris, prime minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, expressed hope that Britain would "do the right thing and make good any injustice", including through compensation.

Known as the Windrush generation, many have no documents to prove they have been living in the United Kingdom before 1971 and had been facing the possibility of detention and deportation to Caribbean countries with which they have no connection.

A Home Office spokesperson said: Registration slips provided details of an individual's date of entry, they did not provide any reliable evidence relating to ongoing residence in the United Kingdom or their immigration status.

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