LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May is underneath stress to resolve the standing of hundreds of British residents who arrived from the Caribbean a long time in the past and are actually being denied primary rights after being incorrectly recognized as unlawful immigrants.
More than 140 members of parliament have signed a letter to the prime minister calling on her to resolve an anomaly meaning many individuals who arrived in Britain as kids between 1948 and 1971 are being denied well being providers, prevented from working and in some instances threatened with deportation.
There is rising anger that long-term British residents have fallen sufferer to rule modifications in 2012 geared toward stopping overstaying. This meant that their authorized standing modified regardless of dwelling, working and paying tax in Britain for many years.
Many have been instructed they want proof together with passports to proceed working or getting well being treatment. But many arrived on their dad and mom’ documentation and by no means formally utilized for British citizenship or a passport.
“That these individuals are being treated with such contempt, disrespect and lack of dignity is a national disgrace,” mentioned David Lammy, an opposition Labour member of parliament and the writer of the letter to the prime minister.
The immigrants are named after the Windrush, one of many first ships that introduced Caribbean migrants to Britain in 1948 within the aftermath of World War Two, when labour shortages meant that individuals from the Commonwealth, a community of largely former British colonies, have been invited to assist rebuild the financial system.
Almost half one million folks left their properties within the West Indies to reside in Britain between 1948 and 1970, in accordance with Britain’s National Archives.
British media have reported instances equivalent to a person who was denied treatment for most cancers and a particular wants educating assistant who lost his job after being accused of being unlawful immigrants regardless of dwelling in Britain for greater than 40 years.
The British government final week refused a request from the excessive commissioners of 12 Caribbean nations for a devoted assembly on this topic on the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London this week.
May will maintain talks on the difficulty with counterparts from Caribbean nations this week and she or he solely grew to become conscious of a request for a gathering on Monday morning, her spokesman mentioned.
“She is aware that many people are unlikely to have documents that are over 40 years old and she is clear that no one with the right to be here will be made to leave,” the spokesman mentioned.
A Home Office official mentioned the rejection was as a result of the topic of the assembly was not clear.
An on-line petition calling for an amnesty for these who arrived in Britain from Commonwealth international locations within the Caribbean as kids and a reducing of the extent of documentary proof required from folks who have lived right here since they have been kids has now attracted greater than 136,000 signatures.
Additional reporting By Elizabeth Piper; modifying by Guy Faulconbridge