Free citizenship for the Windrush generation

Members of the Windrush generation who arrived in the UK before 1973 will be eligible for free citizenship, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced today.

The offer, which will be available to people from all Commonwealth countries, not just Caribbean nationals, will extend to individuals who have no current documentation, those who already have leave to remain and want to advance their status, and children of the Windrush generation.

In addition, the Home Secretary confirmed that a compensation scheme will be set up for individuals who have suffered loss or damage because of their inability to evidence their right to be in the UK and to access services. The Home Office will be engaging with stakeholders on the scope of the compensation on offer and appointing an independent adviser to oversee the scheme.

A new customer contact centre will be set up to make sure that anyone struggling to navigate the many different immigration routes can speak to a person and get appropriate advice. The centre will be staffed by experienced caseworkers who will offer expert advice and identify a systemic problem much more quickly in the future.

Read more at: Gov.uk

UK’s May apologises to Caribbean countries over treatment of post-war migrants

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May apologised to representatives from 12 Caribbean countries on Tuesday over recent harsh treatment by immigration bureaucrats of people who arrived in Britain as children between the late 1940s and the early 1970s.

The so-called “Windrush generation,” whose parents were invited to Britain to plug labor shortfalls after World War Two, have been caught up in a tightening of immigration rules overseen by May in 2012 when she was interior minister.

“I want to apologise to you today because we are genuinely sorry for any anxiety that has been caused,” May told leaders and diplomats from the Caribbean countries, who were in London for a summit of Commonwealth heads of government.

 More on this story here

What is the Windrush generation? Why have some immigrants faced deportation?

The Government has been forced to reverse its position on the “Windrush crisis”, in which people who came here legally from Commonwealth nations are now being deported.

Theresa May will now meet the heads of 12 Caribbean countries this week after an outcry that saw 140 MPs sign a letter to demand a resolution.

More than 130,000 people also signed a petition demanding “amnesty” for the generation of immigrants, who arrived in Britain between 1948 and 1971.

Many of the Windrush generation, named after the ship HMT Empire Windrush, came from African and Caribbean countries under a rule allowing freedom of movement within the Commonwealth.
Read more at: Evening Standard