LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (APRIL 16, 2018) (UK PARLIAMENT) – Interior minister Amber Rudd%20Rudd&redirect=yes"> apologised on Monday (April 16) to thousands of British residents who arrived from the Caribbean decades ago and are now being denied basic rights after being incorrectly identified as illegal immigrants.
Prime Minister Theresa May is under growing pressure to resolve the issue of the ‘Windrush generation’ of migrants who arrived in Britain more than 50 years ago and have become victims of a recent tightening of the immigration system.
More than 140 lawmakers have signed a letter calling on May to resolve an anomaly that means many people who immigrated as children between 1948 and 1971 are being denied health services or prevented from working. Intensifying the row, junior home office minister Caroline Nokes admitted on Monday that some people may have been deported in error.
Many have been told they need evidence including passports to continue working or getting health treatment despite living, working and paying tax in Britain for decades. Some arrived on their parents’ documentation and never formally applied for British citizenship or a passport.
The immigrants are named after the Empire Windrush, one of the first ships to bring Caribbean migrants to Britain in 1948, when Commonwealth citizens were invited to fill labour shortages and help rebuild the economy after World War Two.
Almost half a million people left their homes in the West Indies to live in Britain between 1948 and 1970, according to Britain’s National Archives.