Theresa May continues to face increasing pressure over the situation faced by the ‘Windrush generation’ of people from Jamaica and other Commonwealth countries – named after the vessel on which the first group arrived in 1948.
Those UK citizens have faced loss of employment and accommodation – and even deportation – because their status in the UK became ‘irregular’ as a result of May’s ‘hostile environment’ policies that she implemented as Home Secretary in 2014, but flagged as early as 2012.
May apologised to Commonwealth leaders visiting the UK this week, but has attempted to shift blame onto Home Office and Border Force employees – and even, dishonestly, onto the Labour Party.
But proof has emerged that Mrs May was warned, in detail, about the impact of her policies on the immigration status of Windrush-generation citizens – by a study published by the Legal Action Group in October 2014, under the title:
Chasing status: if not British, then what am I?
The ‘Surprised Brits’ who find they are living with irregular immigration status
The document looks at the experiences of various groups affected – but “Jamaica”/”Jamaican” feature prominently – over fifty times in a 21-page document.
And the pre-1973 migrants who were guaranteed their rights in 1973 legislation – but had those guarantees specifically removed by May’s 2014 laws – appear throughout:
There is even a specific appendix titled, “How the position changed for Jamaican migrants“, which states:
The Immigration Act 1973 (which came into force on 1 January that year) conferred indefinite leave to remain on those who were ‘settled’ in the UK and who didn’t otherwise qualify for right of abode. Many Jamaicans living in the UK at that time therefore acquired settled status. They remained entitled to live in the UK permanently and to register as British citizens…
Those who came to the UK in the 60s and 70s retained their right to reside but often lacked the documents to prove that they had the right to live here. This was not so important in the earlier decades but in recent years they have increasingly been called upon to prove their right to live in the UK in order to access work or benefits. An old Jamaican passport from 40 years ago is not accepted as proof. A newly issued passport does not contain any residence stamp. Applying for a permanent residence stamp in a new passport costs hundreds of pounds in fees to the Home Office and requires the applicant to provide evidence of residence in this country on a yearly basis going back as much as 40 years.
This report was sent to Theresa May.
The idea that Theresa May only recently became aware of the dire situation faced by ‘Windrush generation’ citizens have always lacked credibility – yet she has claimed to have no knowledge of any deportations and has tried to rehabilitate her image by means of supposedly ‘prompt’ action to waive fees and set up a helpline for affected people.
The last shreds of her cover have been obliterated by the 2014 ‘Chasing Status’. She was told four years ago and did nothing – until it became a political embarrassment.
During that time, thousands of Commonwealth citizens have been deported and many more have faced terrible stress, distress and hardship.
Her position has been untenable, but she has clung to it with the help of the complicit BBC and other media.
The full report can be downloaded here.
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