She thought she had dismissed the Windrush Scandal but she was wrong.
Now Theresa May will have to face up to the fact that 63 people – so far – have been found to have been deported for no reason other than to achieve the targets she defined in her ‘hostile environment’ policy.
The revelation by new Home Secretary Sajid Javid directly contradicts the claims of his immediate forerunner, Amber Rudd:
15/04/2018: "Home Secretary Amber Rudd has claimed that no one has been wrongfully deported as a result of the Windrush scandal."
15/05/2018: "Home secretary Sajid Javid has revealed that more than 60 members of the Windrush generation could have been wrongfully deported."
— Mutaz Elnour (@MutazElnour) May 15, 2018
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott has leapt to the attack:
Imagine living in a country that wrongly deports its own citizens. Under Theresa May's hostile environment you don't have to imagine.
— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) May 15, 2018
In a separate statement, she said:
“The hostile environment created by Theresa May has led to illegal deportations of lawful citizens. Their lives have been potentially destroyed and uprooted because of this Government’s immigration policies.
“Apologies and empty words of sympathy are not enough to undo the damage and great pain that has been caused to an entire community.
“Labour is demanding justice for the Windrush generation and all those that have been affected by this scandal.”
Yes. The best form that justice could take would be the resignation of the racist prime minister who designed the racist ‘hostile environment’ policy:
63 Windrush citizens found to have been deported and there could be many more. This is on you Theresa May, this is your 'hostile environment'. Time to resign!! #WindrushScandal #TheresaOut #NastyParty pic.twitter.com/u5h1Gm1flf
— StrongerStabler (@StrongerStabler) May 15, 2018
Many commentators have made the obvious point that a national government’s primary responsibility is to protect citizens, not deport them, and any government that is found to have done the opposite should resign.
To the best of our knowledge, Mrs May is responding to the latest revelations by sitting in 10 Downing Street with her fingers in her ears.
Up to 63 Windrush citizens may have been wrongly deported from the UK, the Home Secretary admitted today.
Sajid Javid revealed the shock figure in a grilling by the Commons Home Affairs Committee.
It comes just weeks after Mr Javid, whose predecessor Amber Rudd resigned over the scandal, said he was not aware of any Windrush citizens being wrongly deported.
The 63 people are Caribbean nationals who were removed from the UK since records began in 2002, and who are also over the age of 45.
Their age means some of them might have arrived in Britain before 1973 – a legal cut-off date.
Under UK law, anyone who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973 should have had an automatic right to stay in Britain, so should not be deported.
Of the 63 citizens, Mr Javid said 32 were removed because they committed crimes.
The other 31 were “administrative removals”, which includes people who were sent Home Office letters telling them to leave.
The cases were found in an ongoing trawl of 8,000 Home Office records on people deported from the UK since 2002.
Home Office officials do not yet know how many of the 63 should have been protected under Windrush law.
Only last week the Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes, said she had not yet found a single wrongful deportation of a Windrush citizen.
Her officials also suggested only a “handful” of people – five – had been wrongly deported from Britain at all in the last five years, even beyond the Windrush scandal.
Yet today Mr Javid suggested the final total could be even higher than 63, telling MPs: “It’s not a final number at this point – it could change.”
Furious Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The responsibility for these wrongful deportations stops at Theresa May’s door. Apologies are not enough for the lives that have been ruined and the deep hurt and pain that communities have suffered.”
Campaigning MP David Lammy added: “This is the worst human rights and home affairs crisis in my time in politics.
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