Some Windrush immigrants wrongly deported, UK admits
Commonwealth immigration Some Windrush immigrants wrongly deported, UK admits
Immigration minister concedes errors as PM appears likely to make U-turn on issue
- How the Guardian broke this story
The government has admitted that some people from the Windrush generation have been deported in error, as Theresa May appears set to make a U-turn on the issue.
The immigration minister Caroline Nokes conceded that some residents who answered the call to come to the UK to work in essential services in the 1950s and 60s had been deported for not having the right documents.
She told ITV News: âThere have been some horrendous situations which as a minister have appalled me.â
Asked how many people had been deported, Nokes said: âI donât know the numbers. But what Iâm determined to do going forward is say we will have no more of this. We want people to have confidence to come to the Home Office. We want to give them a message of reassurance, because I value these people.â
The prime minister will meet representatives of 12 Caribbean countries this week to discuss the immigration problems experienced by some British residents of the Windrush generation, in an apparent climbdown.
Downing Street said the prime minister deeply valued the contribution of Commonwealth citizens who moved to the UK many decades ago and stressed that nobody with a right to be in the country would be made to leave.
No 10 had initially rejected a formal diplomatic request from the 12 countries, which are in London for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (Chogm) this week, giving the impression that the May government was not taking a sufficiently serious approach to the problem.
There is growing unease among politicians about the situation, which has affected an unknown number of people who arrived in the UK as children, but never formally naturalised or applied for a British passport.
Downing Streetâs change of heart followed the publication of a letter sent to May and signed by more than 140 MPs from across the political spectrum. The letter expressed concern about the many long-term British residents who have been incorrectly identified as illegal immigrants.
Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, tweeted on Monday: âIâm deeply concerned to hear about difficulties some of the Windrush generation are facing with their immigration status. This should not happen to people who have been longstanding pillars of our community. The government is looking into this urgently.â
Downing Street said May had only become aware of the request on Monday morning and confirmed that she would be holding a meeting âat the earliest possible opportunityâ with the Caribbean leaders.The children of Windrush: 'Iâm here legally, but theyâre asking me to prove Iâm British' Read more
Her official spokesman said: âShe deeply values the contribution made by these and all Commonwealth citizens who have made a life in the UK and is making sure the home office is offering the correct solution for individual situations.
âShe is aware that many people are unlikely to have documents that are over 40 years old and is clear that no one with the right to be here will be made to leave.â
The spokesman said the Home Office would look at individual cases with âgreat sensitivityâ, suggesting the department could provide extra support to help people navigate the system.
â[May] is going to make sure that weâre offering the correct solution for individual situations. Each situation may well be different but we need to make sure that we have the support there to help people through the process,â he said.
When asked whether the prime minister would apologise over the issue, he said: âIf there are ways we can make the process better then of course we will, if there are problems that people have been put through, that clearly would be a matter of regret.â
The issue of the children of Windrush generation migrants experiencing serious immigration issues in the UK, despite having lived here all their adult lives, will be discussed on the fringes of the CHOGM.
Amber Rudd, the home secretary, is expected to provide more details in a statement in the Commons on Monday afternoon.Topics
- Comm onwealth immigration
- Immigration and asylum
- Theresa May
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