UK Home Secretary offers apology to Windrush generation

It was under Theresa May's stewardship of the Home Office that the decision was taken in 2013 to make the UK a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants. AP

Speaking to ITV News about the mistakes made in cases involving the Windrush generation facing deportation from the United Kingdom, immigration minister Caroline Nokes said: "There have been some horrendous situations that as a minister have appalled me".

British media have reported cases such as a man who was denied treatment for cancer and a special needs teaching assistant who lost his job after being accused of being illegal immigrants despite living in Britain for more than 40 years.

The Tottenham MP said it was a "national shame" that it had taken so long for the government to speak on the issue, calling it "inhumane and cruel" for those who waited for them to act.

As Home Secretary, she removed the rules protecting Commonwealth citizens and as Prime Minister she has completely ignored the issue. But many arrived on their parents' documentation and never formally applied for British citizenship or a passport.

The Immigration Minister added: "These are people who we welcomed here way back in the '50s and '60s and it's really important to me that we correct any error".

The British government last week refused a request from the high commissioners of 12 Caribbean nations for a dedicated meeting on this subject at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London this week.

On 15 April 2018, Nokes previously said in an online statement: 'I know that establishing status after so many years may be hard for some people but we will do everything we can to assist them.

Mrs May's official spokesman said the PM was clear that nobody with a right to be in the United Kingdom would be made to leave.

"She is aware that many people are unlikely to have documents that are over 40 years old and she is clear that no-one with the right to be here will be made to leave".

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The announcement came after a cross-party group of 140 MPs wrote to Mrs May calling for an "immediate and effective" response to problems faced by members of the Windrush generation.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has described the denial of their rights and the deportations as "disgraceful".

It called for action over the immigration anomalies, stating: "All too often these routine bureaucratic errors bring about the separation of families and irreparable damage to lives in addition to undue stress, anxiety and suffering".

The descendants of Britain's first wave of immigrants from its Caribbean former colonies are facing losing jobs and even deportation despite living and working in the United Kingdom for decades in a controversy which threatens to overshadow a meeting of the leaders of the Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonial possessions. Admitting some "horrendous situations", immigration minister Caroline Nokes told BBC Radio the government had "an absolute responsibility to make sure there are no more of these mistakes".

"People should not be concerned about this - they have the right to stay and we should be reassuring them of that".

Barbados high commissioner to the UK, Guy Hewitt, claimed he had initially been told the Prime Minister's schedule was "full" this week.

Ms Rudd said that fees for sorting out the paperwork of those affected would be waived so that they can have their status confirmed free of charge.

Unless they are able to produce documents confirming their right to live in the United Kingdom, the Home Office has threatened them with deportation.

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