Downing Street rejects opportunity to meet Caribbean officials to discuss rights of Windrush generation

Written by Liz Bates on 16 April 2018 in News

Some of those who migrated to the UK as children in the 1950s and 60s have now been warned they face deportation

Image credit: PA

Number Ten has rejected the opportunity to meet Caribbean officials to discuss the plight of Britain’s Windrush generation, who migrated to the UK as children in the 1950s and 60s but who have now been warned they face deportation.

According to reports in The Guardian, Downing Street was asked by representatives of 12 Caribbean countries for a meeting with the Prime Minister, as part of this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government summit.

But the officials were told that a face-to-face with Theresa May “would not be possible”.

Many British residents who came from the Caribbean with their parents as part of a post-war rebuilding effort have been threatened with deportation following a tightening of the immigration rules.

Others have lost out on employment, healthcare and housing because they have been unable to prove their immigration status.

Guy Hewitt, the Barbados high commissioner, said: “We did make a request to the CHOGM summit team for a meeting to be held between the prime minister and the Commonwealth Caribbean heads of government who will be here for the CHOGM and regrettably they have advised us that that is not possible.”

Government guidance released last Friday stated: “We recognise that this is causing problems for some individuals who have lost documents over the long period of time they have been in the UK…

“No one with the right to be here will be required to leave.”

While in a statement, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: “We will handle every case with sensitivity and will help ... people gather the information they need.”

A petition calling for those affected to be granted amnesty has reached over 100,000 signatures, meaning it could trigger a debate in Parliament.

According to The Guardian, Downing Street acknowledged that a request had been received from the Caribbean high commissioners and confirmed that a meeting had not been scheduled.

However, officials said there would be "a number of opportunities" for the issue to be discussed during the CHOGM summit.

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