Sajid Javid has proved himself as much a liar and a racist as Theresa May and Amber Rudd before him – and that the Conservative government’s “hostile environment” policy is as vicious as ever.
On Friday, September 21 – at the end of a week in which the news agenda was overloaded with Theresa May’s failure to convince EU representatives of her Brexit plan – Mr Javid quietly put out a press release stating that members of the so-called “Windrush generation” who had committed criminal offences would not be granted UK citizenship, in spite of previous assurances that all Windrush citizens would.
Of course, it is entirely possible that, due to the “hostile environment” policy, some of these people may have committed criminal offences, simply to survive:
So @sajidjavid to be clear. After denying some of the #Windrush generation their right to claim benefits when denied their right to work. If any of them desperately resorted to crime to survive, they will be denied the citizenship they should have already had? https://t.co/ZpM98VpR9R
— Nicola James 💚💙🇵🇸#BlackLivesMatter (@NAJ562) September 21, 2018
Worse still, he added that those who were not granted citizenship would be allowed to stay in the UK only if they could provide proof of residency.
But didn’t the Tories destroy such proof when they took office in 2010? Yes they did.
And just to make matters as bad as possible, Mr Javid said refusals would also be issued to those who had applied for documentation from abroad but been found to be ineligible, as they were not able to provide sufficient evidence that they were settled in the UK before 1 January 1973.
Windrush citizens are supposed to be afforded the same rights as every other British citizen – because they are British citizens, courtesy of the British Nationality Act 1948; they were awarded citizenship after they arrived – so the announcement has led to renewed accusations that they are effectively second-class.
These people had a legal right to come to the UK, so they neither needed nor were given any documents upon entry to the UK, nor following changes in immigration laws in the early 1970s.
It is a betrayal of people who rebuilt the UK after World War II.
Mr Javid said refusal decisions were only taken after “substantial assurance” had taken place and said individuals could request a free review of the decision if they disagree.
But legal experts told The Independent the absence of independent legal advice and a proper appeal route to those refused made it “impossible to know whether these decisions were fair or not”.
Mr Javid’s decision to rescind the citizenship of a whole generation of people who are legally British, on the grounds that they do not have documentation to prove that citizenship because the Tories destroyed it, is as racist now as it was when Theresa May put it into practice and Amber Rudd continued it.
It is all the more shocking from him, though, as he is himself a member of the black and minority ethnic (BAME) community.
The decision has been met with widespread condemnation, despite the attempt to hide it on a heavy news day:
Sajid Javid has gone back on his promise. He’s asking for evidence from people that did not have it in the first placehttps://t.co/z23EdLd2wE
— Diane Abbott MP (@HackneyAbbott) September 21, 2018
Sajid Javid promised to "do right" by the Windrush generation. Today he has failed them.
It's a disgrace that this announcement has been snuck out on such a heavy news day.https://t.co/pPoOSpey7z
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) September 21, 2018
After all the assurances – including those from arch-racist Theresa May that her government would provide restitution to the Windrush people it had wronged, there is only one way to take this:
The Tories and their leader are the scum of the earth. https://t.co/Wru2uNtjM3
— Keith Ordinary Guy #NHSLove (@KeithCameron5) September 21, 2018
That’s right. The Windrush citizens – most of whom are probably the salt of the Earth – are being hounded out of the country by the scum of the Earth.
How many more chances are we going to give the Tories to make this scandal worse while lying through their teeth about it?
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