The aggression of the Home Office and its Conservative secretaries of state against the Windrush generation should be designated a hate crime.
Not only has Home Secretary Amber Rudd been forced into a humiliating apology for victimising individuals and families who had immigrated from Commonwealth countries in the belief that they would have a permanent right to stay…
Not only has she been forced to admit that she does not know how many have been deported “in error” already…
But even if her department relaxes its crusade against these innocent people, it is likely that many will be left stateless, homeless and jobless.
The Windrush kids story is truly appalling, even by Home Office standards. The message to immigrants is clear: you'll never belong here, not ever, not even after decades of legally living here.
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) April 16, 2018
This is through no fault of their own; it is a result of the incompetence of Ms Rudd and the previous Home Secretary, someone called Theresa May.
Newly tightened immigration rules mean individuals are increasingly required to show documents proving a right to be in the UK before they can take up work, rent properties, access healthcare, or claim benefits.
Many who have been unable to do so have lost their jobs or been made homeless or refused urgent healthcare. Some have been sent to immigration removal centres or threatened with deportation.
Children of the Windrush generation – those invited by the British government to work in the UK after the second world war (the name refers to the Empire Windrush, the ship that brought one of the first large groups of post-war West Indian immigrants to the UK) – were automatically entitled to settled status under the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962, provided they had documentation that satisfied the Home Office.
But a key clause protecting longstanding Commonwealth residents from enforced removal was deleted from the statute books – in secret – when the 2014 Immigration Act, drafted while Theresa May was Home Secretary, came into force.
Now the Windrush children are in the same situation as Commonwealth citizens who were given temporary permission to work in the UK or arrived as students before January 1, 1973, the date the 1971 Immigration Act came into force. There is no protection for Commonwealth citizens granted limited status before January 1973, such as students or people who came on temporary work visas, so all longstanding Commonwealth residents may now be required to provide proof they were resident in the UK prior to that date – proof many of them do not have – or face deportation.
Make no mistake commonwealth immigrants are British citizens who have earned their right of residence to deport the children of the #WindrushGeneration who are now adults is pure and simple racism which should disgust and anger each and everyone of us.
— John Smith (son of Harry Leslie Smith) (@Harryslaststand) April 15, 2018
The Conservative government has also implemented “hostile environment” policies requiring landlords, the NHS and other bodies to check people’s immigration status – meaning this proof is being demanded of an increasing number of these people.
It is worth noting that Mrs May never carried out any research on the possible effects of removing protection from longstanding Commonwealth citizens – further evidence that she hates people who were born in other countries and wants to kick them all out of the UK.
Note also that the Immigration Act came into force after Mrs May was publicly humiliated for funding racist vans demanding that illegal immigrants “go home” – sparking a spate of false accusation against UK citizens.
Now that the hostility has come to light, a cross-party group of 140 MPs has signed a letter demanding remedial action, written by Labour MP David Lammy:
— Kate Hoey (@CatharineHoey) April 16, 2018
But before Parliament was able to debate the matter, it was revealed that some innocent people may have been deported already:
Government: “EU citizens need not worry about their rights after Brexit. They can trust us”
In unrelated news: https://t.co/P6FKMEndDU
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) April 16, 2018
Immigration minister @carolinenokes apologises to #Windrush generation wrongly questioned over their right to stay in UK but tells me some have been deported in error. Watch full interview at 7 on @Channel4News
— Cathy Newman (@cathynewman) April 16, 2018
Amber Rudd ensures one of her junior ministers gets the flak in the Luchtime News…? pic.twitter.com/4RIkAhVtzZ
— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) April 16, 2018
HOW ANYONE CAN VOTE TORY AFTER LISTENING TO CAROLINE NOAKES TALKING RIGHT NOW ON WORLD AT ONE ABOUT THE WINDRUSH CHILDREN. ABSOLUTELY DESPICABLE.
— Carole Hawkins (@hawkins_carole) April 16, 2018
And when they say “may have been” deported, you know they mean “have been” deported.
"Deported in error".
Call me a lefty libtard snowflake, but I sort of think you should be reeeeally fucking sure of your facts before you start deporting people who've lived here practically all of their lives.#Windrush https://t.co/JQqJmcYwiT
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) April 16, 2018
"Deported in error."
That is, deported as the predictable and predicted result of deliberate, long-planned government policy towards not just this group but many others. https://t.co/kQCoIB0qUH
— Jonathan Portes (@jdportes) April 16, 2018
Amber Rudd tried to deny any deportations but – and this shows just how far trust in our elected government has fallen under the Conservatives – nobody believes her:
Amber Rudd saying something and it being accurate are two different things.
— Daniel Grigg (@Daniel_Grigg) April 16, 2018
It's disgraceful that the rights of the Windrush Generation have been brought into question by this Government and that some have been wrongfully deported.@Theresa_May must give them the rights they deserve and answer serious questions about how this has happened on her watch. https://t.co/CYbZBuzSv3
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) April 16, 2018
Home Secretary says she's "not aware of specific cases" of deportation of #Windrush generation. Extraordinary. The Home Office is responsible for deportations.
— Diane Abbott MP (@HackneyAbbott) April 16, 2018
Last word on this (for now) must go to David Lammy, the Labour MP who wrote the letter that won cross-party support from so many other MPs, as mentioned above.
In the video, he clarifies the crimes that have been committed against people who had a right to believe they were UK citizens, in a way that no cold words of mine on your computer screen ever could. Amber Rudd was unable to answer any of his questions.
'Can she tell the house how many have been detained as prisoners in their own country, can she tell the hse how many have been denied health under the NHS, how many denied pensions, how many have lost their jobs. This is a day of national shame.' @DavidLammy @IanDunt @StevePeers pic.twitter.com/qeoMSUkqgs
— Martin Cooper (@mpc_1968) April 16, 2018
No right-thinking citizen of the UK could disagree with Mr Lammy.
This was a day of national – and entirely preventable shame.
It was brought about by the hate-filled policies of a far-right-wing Home Secretary who is now a far-right-wing prime minister.
But neither Theresa May nor Amber Rudd – who couldn’t even be bothered to obtain the relevant details from her own department – are showing a scrap of contrition about it.
They are the worst disgrace in this whole disgraceful affair.
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