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United Kingdom admits 'horrendous' mistakes over 'Windrush' immigrants denied rights

United Kingdom admits 'horrendous' mistakes over 'Windrush' immigrants denied rights

Britain is hoping its historic links to Commonwealth countries will help develop new trade links as it leaves the European Union but it's also toughening immigration laws, rendering the children and grandchildren of some of those who came in the 1950s vulnerable and without clear evidence of British nationality despite paying taxes and holding down jobs for years.

The Home Secretary said high commissioners would have an opportunity to raise any such cases with her at their meeting later this week.

Most of them, so called after the name of one of the first ships that arrived from Jamaica in 1948, are citizens of the United Kingdom and colonies, a type of citizenship conferred by the British Nationality Act of 1948.

She said: "Well, absolutely, these are people who we welcomed here way back in the 50s and 60s and it's really important to me that we correct any error, and that we send a message of reassurance to people who are here, we want to get this right for them".

"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".

Mr Lammy claimed it is a "day of national shame" which had arisen out of a "hostile environment policy" that began under Theresa May.

This should not happen to people who have been longstanding pillars of our community.

The Home Office earlier confirmed the meeting was requested but the subject of the proposed meeting was not made clear.

"This is about individuals".

"And that is why I have acted. That is why I am so committed to ensuring that there is no cost involved".

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Immigration minister Caroline Nokes appeared to suggest that some individuals may already have been deported in error.

Asked whether people who had been resident in the United Kingdom for decades had been deported, Ms Nokes said: "There have been some horrendous situations which as a minister have appalled me". She should know the number.

Asked how many had been deported, Nokes replied: "I don't know the numbers but what I am determined to do... is say we'll have no more of this".

This afternoon Ms Rudd said she was "not aware of any specific cases of a person being removed in these circumstances", instead telling MPs she was urging representatives of Commonwealth countries to come forward with their own examples.

The PM's spokesman said the Home Office was expected to set out measures on Monday to support members of the Windrush generation in providing the documentation necessary to prove their right to live in the UK.

"We are not aware of any specific cases of a person being removed from the United Kingdom in these circumstances and we have absolutely no intention of asking anyone to leave who has the right to remain here".

Ms Rudd announced the creation of a new task force in the Home Office to speed up the regularisation of the immigration status of people who arrived in the United Kingdom as long ago as the 1940s.

"I am concerned that the Home Office has become too concerned with policy and strategy and sometimes lose sight of the individual".

"The Windrush generation must have their rights as British citizens confirmed, any who have been deported must be invited back to the United Kingdom immediately and those who oversaw their deportations must be held to account".

Unless they are able to produce documents confirming their right to live in the United Kingdom, the Home Office has threatened them with deportation.