By NAN Contributor
News Americas, LONDON, England, Tues. April 17, 2018: A Caribbean roots UK lawmaker yesterday blasted the Theresa May government in an impassioned speech over the controversy of the deportation of some Caribbean immigrants and long-time residents of Britain, who migrated there during the 1950s and 60s, otherwise known as the Windrush era.
Labor MP David Lammy, 45, whose parents were born in Guyana, called on PM May and Homeland Secretary, Amber Rudd, to apologize even as he dubbed Monday “a day of national shame.”
“My parents came here as citizens, now the #windrush generation are suffering inhumane treatment at the hands of the Home Office,” Lammy said during an emotional speech in which he also demanded answers over reports that law-abiding Caribbean-born UK residents were being threatened with deportation as MPs held an emergency debate on the Windrush Crisis Monday.
Immigrants from the Caribbean were invited to come to Britain with their families to help rebuild the country after WWII, but many didn’t have documentation as bureaucracy was less rigid at the time. They are in the UK legitimately, but have suffered consequences recently because they can’t prove it based on the UK ruling in 2012, which aimed to put an end to immigrant overstaying.
Members of the “Windrush generation” — named for the ship Empire Windrush, which brought the first big group of post-war Caribbean immigrants to Britain in 1948 — came from what were then British colonies or newly independent states. Those who arrived before 1971 had an automatic right to settle in the U.K.
But because they have no paperwork from the 50’s and 60’s, they are “losing their jobs, being denied NHS treatment” and potentially even being sent back to the Caribbean based on the 2012 UK ruling.
Sec. Rudd on Monday apologized for the ‘appalling’ way in which she said some immigrants had been treated but said that she wasn’t aware of any specific cases where people had been deported.
Still she urged people to contact her if they knew of any and said she was setting up a task force to sort out the Caribbean immigrants’ paperwork simply and for free.
Rudd promised that no one would be deported.
The crisis has overshadowed a London meeting of leaders from the 53-nation Commonwealth. Prime Minister May’s office said she would meet with her Caribbean counterparts at the Commonwealth summit to discuss the situation.