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British Prime Minister Theresa May met representatives from 12 Caribbean Commonwealth states on Tuesday. Those attending included senior 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.

During the meeting, May apologised for any anxiety caused, and explained how much the UK valued the contribution made by members of the Windrush Generation.

She said, “Those who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973 and lived here permanently without significant periods of time away in the last 30 years have the right to remain in the UK, as do the vast majority of long-term residents who arrived later. I don’t want anybody to be in any doubt about their right to remain here in the United Kingdom.”

The Windrush generation refers to the thousands of people who arrived in the UK as children in the first wave of Commonwealth immigration 70 years ago, often on their parents’ passports. They are known as the Windrush generation in reference to the ship, the Empire Windrush, which brought workers from the West Indies to Britain in 1948.

Under the 1971 Immigration Act, all Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were given indefinite leave to remain.

However, the immigration process before that time was poorly documented and the Home Office did not keep accurate records or issue paperwork to those with the right to remain in the UK. This resulted in people who came to the UK legally as children now losing their jobs, being denied NHS treatment and potentially being sent back to the Caribbean.

The prime minister went on to say that 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”.

The UK government said it is committed to supporting Commonwealth citizens who have a right to live in the UK. A new dedicated team will be set up within the Home Office for people who need support gathering evidence of their right to be in the UK. It will contain a dedicated contact point, and will aim to resolve cases within two weeks, once all the evidence has been put together. No one affected will be charged for the documentation that proves their right.

In 2010, the Home Office destroyed thousands of landing card slips recording Windrush immigrants’ arrival dates in the UK, despite staff warnings that the move would make it harder to check the records of older Caribbean-born residents experiencing residency difficulties.

A dedicated phone line (0300 123 2241) has also been created and the Home Office has published a fact sheet on their web site, which outlines the rights of Commonwealth citizens.

Source: Caribbean News Now



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The Observer gives kudos to PM Holness and the government representative from St. Kitts for being so vocal in their responses to the British Government on the Windrush debacle. If only our government and others had joined in voicing their opposition publically. It's important to note that Theresa May's policy of deporting Commonwealth or Windrush British citizens only came to light because of international attention to her racist, immoral and inhumane treatment of people of African ancestory. Her intention to deport Caribbean nationals who helped to rebuilt Britain dates back years when she served as Home Secretary. The issue of dumping Black folks whenever we are no longer needed dates back to slaver. For example, they used our ancestor through slavery to build wealth. Secondly, when slavery no longer became profitable, they brought in indentured servants-criminal and poor whites, East whom they turned over the plantations to...following financial compensations rendered to them for loss of plantations and properties in the form of human beings-African slaves. The defunct plantation owners left our ancestors-freed slaves with no boots nor any straps to pull themselves up. Our ancestors were then turned over to the new plantation owners who over worked and under paid them. our people were at the mercies of these new plantation owners all from 1832 - the 1970s. However, with the onset and following World War I & World War II, Great Britain realized it needed our people to help fight it wars and to rebuild it recruited our grandparents, parents and others to migrate to England. Why? Because its citizens did not want to work nor do the menial labor to keep it afloat. Now England no longer need us and has been seeking ways to get rid of us. As in slavery, so shall it be in Brixit. Let's make Britain Great again!
40By: The Observer
5/9/2018 2:49:57 PM
Thanks Observer, very well said.
By: Joe
5/19/2018 4:52:09 PM