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Windrush Generation

(429 Posts)
Hermia46 Tue 17-Apr-18 08:48:26

The actions by the current Home Office make me ashamed to be British. The attempts to declare the Windrush generation of Caribbeans illegal immigrants is yet another example of witless politicians and civil servants who appear to be unable to work out the impact of their policies and ultimately laws on ALL citizens of Britain. I am appalled by the current fiasco. These people answered the call for support as members of the Commonwealth and this is how we treat them. I hang my head in shame.

mostlyharmless Tue 17-Apr-18 14:46:40

This was part of Theresa May’s “hostile environment policy” aimed at removing illegal immigrants.
It is a boast that Theresa May has been repeating for the past five years. “The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants,” she said in 2012 when, as home secretary, she was challenged on why annual net immigration, then running at about 250,000, was stubbornly above the Conservatives’ controversial “tens of thousands” target.

MaizieD Tue 17-Apr-18 14:54:16

"Because it was no longer possible to search in the archive of landing cards, people would be sent a standard letter that would state: ‘We have searched our records, we can find no trace of you in our files.^

That is one of the worst things I've seen yet about this affair. How utterly irresponsible of 'the Home Office'. There must have been someone who made that decision though.

As to denying that this mess is not the responsibility of this government I'll repeat what I said on the thread in News & Politics. It was May, when at the Home Office, who introduced the requirement for people to prove their legal right to be here when opening bank accounts, renting property, and going for NHS treatment. She did it by statutory instrument i.e without consulting parliament. I wonder if her HO civil servants told her it would cause problems?

I would suspect that the former colonial/commonwealth people who had been given Indefinite Leave to Remain in the 1970s either didn't even know about the legislation or thought it didn't apply to them.

Baggs Tue 17-Apr-18 15:50:17

Since I posted last I've read about what mostlyharmless has quoted. It does seem that policies Theresa May put in place when she was in charge of the Home Office are at fault here because they have been applied where they shouldn't have been applied.

It is a very embarassing situation for TM. Like maiz, I too "wonder if her HO civil servants told her it would cause problems?" If they didn't, if nobody did, then some civil servants were unprofessionally at fault too.

Ilovecheese Tue 17-Apr-18 15:59:06

"I would suspect that the former colonial/commonwealth people who had been given Indefinite Leave to Remain in the 1970s either didn't even know about the legislation or thought it didn't apply to them."
I agree, and I imagine both Mrs May and the civil servants overlooked the problem.
I don't think it was deliberate, but I do think it was an oversight.

Legislation that is either rushed through in a hurry or is for purely ideological purposes so often has these unintended consequences

lemongrove Tue 17-Apr-18 16:19:25

Yes, a major mistake by somebody ( who’s bright idea was it to need four pieces of info for every year?)
Bureaucracy often goes pear shaped when ideas are put into practice, still, good that the government is now sorting it out pdq.

BlueBelle Tue 17-Apr-18 16:22:23

They ve only apologised because they ve been caught out It wasn’t a mistake the government isn’t that stupid they thought it would just disappear with the people
I m totally disgusted and horrible ashamed of being British each day gets worse horrible horrible The ghurkas were treated with distained chucked away like scraps of paper and they would have done just the same now
I hope with all my heart that someone gets a good solicitor and they end up having to compensating these poor folk who have been put through hell

lemongrove Tue 17-Apr-18 16:38:32

This ‘ashamed to be British’ thing seems to be a recurring theme on GN.
I have never been ashamed to be British, ever, but of course
Feel angry when governments ( of all political parties) get it wrong.
If they had been insisting they were right, that would be a different matter, but they aren’t doing that.
It was never a secret I imagine, so ‘found out’ doesn’t really come into it.
It sounds more like an over complicated bit of bureaucracy
To establish if people were really who say say they are.
Yes, it’s a wrong policy, although as somebody says upthread
There should be enough tax returns, NI and GP records etc for authenticity to be proved easily.

Cold Tue 17-Apr-18 16:42:53

The government's response has been absolutely disgusting and all roads seem to lead back to decisions taken by Theresa May.

It is over a month since May refused to intervene in the case of a Windrush immigrant suffering cancer, who has lived in the UK for 47 years, because he was unable to prove his right to NHS treatment.

The civil service takes their instruction from their Minister - it is a lame excuse from May/Rudd that they did not know. That the Home office do not know how many they have deported under this misguided policy is shocking. The government are not really sorry - just sorry they have been caught.

Baggs Tue 17-Apr-18 17:00:24

I’ve been wondering about NI numbers too, lemon, and other old work-related records.

Welshwife Tue 17-Apr-18 17:41:11

I saw a report today - whether true or not I don’t know - that it was Govt officials who destroyed all the landing cards.

maryeliza54 Tue 17-Apr-18 17:57:44

It all came about after a 2012 piece of legislation. The people affected are not being sought but come to the attention of the HO when they need a passport ( or to renew one) or are checked out by employers, landlords etc, or need health care or apply for benefits. In 2012 the problem should have been identified so far as it would affect people like the Windrush generation who came here legally as British citizens. The Guardian has been publicising this issue since last year but no one in the HO was prepared to listen. The Press Office should be monitoring the press and picking up on issues like this. And why on earth did TM refuse initially to meet with the Commonwealth heads on this matter? How incredibly disrespectful was this? As for the government doing something about it - it’s only thanks to David Lammy that a deportation planned for tomorrow has been stopped.What is AR playing at? The first thing she should have done yesterday after ‘apologising’ is stop all deportations until she was heading a department that was fit for purpose because she isn’t and it isn’t.

maryeliza54 Tue 17-Apr-18 18:01:14

The HO has full access to NI and HMRC records for starters. Now why would they not start with accessing those records rather than asking for the people themselves to find 4 pieces of information? One might almost think that it could have been a deliberate plan to make it harder for them to stay. Why else do that?

BlueBelle Tue 17-Apr-18 18:01:50

Well I m glad you ve never felt ashamed of your country Lemon I have and never more than at the moment with ALL the bad things going on

maryeliza54 Tue 17-Apr-18 18:06:33

No matter how some of you try to do so on here, there is no excuse for this whole disgraceful fiasco and saying sorry or talking about unintended consequences is utter rubbish. It’s either deliberate racism or sheer incompetency and it’s the ministers who are responsible and accountable. Do we really expect so little from our government? AR is behaving as though she went out for a cup of tea and when she came back all this had blown up.

maryeliza54 Tue 17-Apr-18 18:09:10

Put Grenfell in the mix and we’ve got a pretty accurate picture of our country at the moment- racist/incompetent - yes I’m ashamed too. Virtue signalling about humanitarian action in Syria and slamming the door to child Syrian refugees - yes TM I’m looking at you.

POGS Tue 17-Apr-18 18:11:49

Watching the anti semitism debate in Parliament I too am ashamed .

maryeliza54 Tue 17-Apr-18 18:17:48

TM was HS in 2010 when against advice all the landing cards records of the WG were destroyed. The HO was told that these were the only remaining records but went ahead anyway. Never mind, they are all saying sorry. Derail fail POGs - I’m afraid your whataboutery isn’t going to work with this issue.

ffinnochio Tue 17-Apr-18 18:29:27

Part of the 2012 legislation also sought to levy a fine on businesses who employed illegals. So employees info was checked, and the doubtful ‘let go’. Hence unemployment, inability to claim benefits or NHS treatment for those of the Windrush generation caught up in this debacle.
It’s all grossly incompetent.
Who on earth has 4 pieces of info. per year x 40years.

POGS Tue 17-Apr-18 18:31:02


"Derail fail POGs - I’m afraid your whataboutery isn’t going to work with this issue."

No carry on discussing Grenfell.

You are correct I have moved my point about the debate into a more appropriate thread on Corbyn.

GillT57 Tue 17-Apr-18 18:33:15

Your faith in government and their efficiency and motive is touching lemongrove but I stick by my statement of being ashamed to be British over this debacle. Like it or not, this government is representative of the country and is acting on our instruction or behalf. Ultimately the responsibility lies with the departmental minister, and the opposition shadow minister who presumably was aware of this unfolding situation and, as far as I am aware, failed to raise concerns. Disgraceful

Gerispringer Tue 17-Apr-18 18:36:11

Disgusting. As the case of the 85 year old grandmother who has a British pension after 40years of working here, now retired in Jamaica, but has been denied entry to the U.K. to see her great- grandchild - she only wants to come for a holiday to see family - she spent 40years here and now can’t get a visa without spending thousands on legal fees and jumping through insurmountable hoops.

mostlyharmless Tue 17-Apr-18 18:58:42

The Windrush immigrants issue, Grenfell and rehousing of the victims, police numbers being cut - linked to record violent deaths in London this year - all major problems for Theresa May with the local elections coming up in London in a couple of weeks.

lemongrove Tue 17-Apr-18 20:04:07

Who said I had faith in government efficiency Gill ?
No government ever has full efficiency in all matters.
Carry on being ashamed if you like of your country, when what you actually must mean is in the unfairness of officialdom to recognise the Windrush immigrants right to be here.And I agree with you in that.
It’s incompetent, but not racist.

Cold Tue 17-Apr-18 20:29:30

Apparently the Home Office decided to destroy all of the Windrush Generation immigration records in 2010.

lemongrove Tue 17-Apr-18 21:19:27

If true, then that certainly was a strange thing to do ( destroying the records.)
The only thing I can come up with is that it was thought to be irrelevant as it was so long ago?