130000 back petition calling for amnesty for Windrush immigrants

PA Archive  PA Images                   Jamaican immigrants welcomed to the UK after the HMT'Empire Windrush landed them at Tilbury east London

The Government have apologised after admitting "Windrush" generation United Kingdom residents have potentially been deported to the Caribbean "in error".

Downing Street has rejected a meeting on the Commonwealth-born residents' immigration issues, but have been opposed by 140 MPs from across the political spectrum.

There is growing unease among politicians about the situation, which has affected an unknown number of people who arrived in the United Kingdom as children, but never formally naturalised or applied for a British passport.

Barbados high commissioner to the UK, Guy Hewitt, claimed he had initially been told the Prime Minister's schedule was "full" this week when the leaders requested talks.

The spokesman said: "She deeply values the contribution made by these and all Commonwealth citizens who have made a life in the United Kingdom and is making sure the Home Office is offering the correct solution for individual situations".

"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".

Responding to what she acknowledged was "a growing sense of anxiety among some people in the Windrush generation, who came here from Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean", Nokes said yesterday that the Home Office was working to address concerns.

The Home Office will also waive fees for those needing to prove their residency rights, she said.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has described the denial of their rights and the deportations as "disgraceful".

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On Friday, the Home Office issued guidance admitting that problems were coming to the fore because of newly tightened immigration rules, noting: "Recent changes to the law mean that if you wish to work, rent property or have access to benefits and services in the United Kingdom then you will need documents to demonstrate your right to be in the UK".

Mr Lammy said: "What is going on is grotesque, immoral and inhumane". It is a stain on our nation's conscience and the Prime Minister must act urgently to right this historic wrong.

"The Government is essentially stripping people of the rights that our Government itself granted decades ago".

"This should not happen to people who have been longstanding pillars of our community", he said.

Penny Mordaunt, the worldwide development secretary, said there was no "absolutely no question of their right to remain" but admitted the Home Office's handling needed to be better.

The 1971 Immigration Act gave all Commonwealth citizens living in the United Kingdom the right to remain but free movement between Commonwealth nations was ended from that time onwards.

"We want people to have confidence to come to the Home Office, we want to give them a message of reassurance, because we value these people".

Worried about threats of detention or deportation, innocent people with deportation and leaving thousands of people too scared and anxious to clarify their own status for fear of being sent back to a country that they have no memory of and is certainly not their home.

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