Picture sourced from Google
In 1948 the MV Empire Windrush docked in Tillbury, it’s after the second World War and the British Government invited people from Caribbean countries to take refuge. They would become the Windrush generation.
Now, the government who took them in and gave them a place to call home, have said they no longer can stay in this country and face deportation if they don’t have the required documentation to prove it. The problem with this is that in 1948 many children who travelled on Windrush came on their parents passports, many of the countries these children travelled from weren’t independent so they assumed they were British. The Home Office did not keep a record of people who travelled into the country, so years later when they are asked for these papers they don’t have an answer and are facing deportation.
So why are the government asking for these papers now, 60 years later?
When Theresa May was home secretary she wanted to make it much harder for people to immigrate to the U.K. So, now the government want people to show their documentation proving they are here legally, through evidence of citizenship or immigration status. Without this proof people can not get the benefits of a U.K. citizenship, this includes the services of the NHS.
This is a scandal to say the least. Because some of the Windrush generation were never fully naturalised, they have lost their jobs, been refused medical care, had their pensions cancelled or even threatened with deportation. Albert Thomson has become the face of this generation, as he was refused NHS service for cancer treatment. He was asked to pay £54,000 if he wanted the treatment, a sum that is unattainable to him.
These people have lived and contributed to this country for over half a century, but because Theresa May wants stricter immigration she is making life a nightmare for these rightful British citizens. They let these people pay taxes for years, but question them on their right to be called a British Citizen just because they don’t own a passport.
The backlash caused could not be ignored. On Monday the home secretary Amber Rudd apologised, and announced they have a team ensuring all the Commonwealth born long term residents were classified as being in the U.K. legally. After floods of people called The Home Office, panicking about their status Ms May also apologised for the “Anxiety” caused.
Personally, saying this scandal has caused hundreds of undeserving people “Anxiety” is a cruel understatement. In 2012 Theresa May said “The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants” not only is she creating a hostile place for illegal immigrants, she is also creating a hostile place for her British citizens.
If we actually called this what it is, we would say it’s extreme right racism. The government are outraged when you mention racism in regards to them, they say it’s not racist to talk about immigration. Of course it’s not, but it becomes it when you marginalise the immigrants into smaller categories, soon enough they become a minority. Before we know it, law abiding citizens of the Windrush generation aren’t quit British enough.
The result of all of this is the injustice towards the Windrush generation, this scandal that caused so much “Anxiety” has put hard working people through months of hell. Just to prove that they paid their fare share, and can in return have a pension and health care. Some of these people are still waiting for their status to be updated, so they still don’t have access to the NHS.
We need to confront our government more on race in regards to immigration, this can’t go on as it is. A statement apologising for their wrong doings is not enough. We need to call them out on what they are doing, so it doesn’t happen to any more tax paying citizens of this country, or any citizen for that matter.
So, to the Windrush generation. This is your home.