British Caribbean Association speak out on Windrush Generation Debacle

Government must make amends to Windrush generation, says leading British Caribbean group

A British Caribbean group that works with MPs is backing MP David Lammy’s call for an investigation of government immigration policy and details of compensation for the Windrush generation.

The British Caribbean Association (the BCA) pledges it will press the government to ensure protection from deportation, obstruction to re-entry, access to work, housing and health services to long standing British residents of Caribbean heritage.

It also calls on government to restore the residency protection removed by the Immigration Act 2014 for those from the Caribbean living in the UK for decades and had been granted the right to remain.

Members of the BCA share the grief felt by possibly thousands whose UK residency status is questioned because they cannot demonstrate they came here from the Caribbean as children. The BCA’s present chairman is Clive Lewis MP, the Rt Hon David Lammy MP is a deputy chair and the group works with the Caribbean High Commissions.

People lost jobs

Many people have lost jobs, homes, are denied government services and have had to pay for lawyers to prove to the government that they are not illegal migrants.

BCA Deputy Chairman, David Michael said:

“David Lammy made a brilliant speech in the House of Commons that laid bare the shame the government should be feeling because of its poor decisions. We also thank the Caribbean governments and High Commissions, particularly Barbados, for asking the UK government to change its policy.

“The immigration service has always been tough on people from the Caribbean, but the cost paid by many because of the current regime has been too high. Lives have been ruined and lost.

Government must make amends to Windrush generation…

“The UK government should demonstrate that it regrets its decisions by compensating those affected, investigate its migration policy and change the law.

“Many people with a Caribbean heritage and others from the Commonwealth have been uneasy about the emotions about immigration the Brexit vote stirred up. This looks like an example of the damage caused as a result of government trying to satisfy those emotions.”

Individuals who have contributed to the UK for decades found themselves out of work and having to spend their money because they were suspect illegal migrants.

According to the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, the 1971 Immigration Act gave all Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were given indefinite leave to remain.

The 1999 Immigration and Asylum Act protected long-term Commonwealth residents from enforced removal. This provision was removed in the 2014 legislation.

Residents who did not have official documentation recognized by the Home Office became subject to enforced removal due to the 2014 law.

“The BCA regards the apology, promises by government to help Windrush children identify relevant documents, and to compensate them as an encouraging start. We encourage individuals or families affected by the unfair and unjust immigration laws to contact their Member of Parliament, their High Commission or the Joint Commission for the Welfare of Immigrants,” said David Michael.

For further information or interviews please contact BCA Deputy Chairman David Michael on 07804637362 or Simon Hinds BCA Press Officer on smnhinds@gmail.com

NOTES

The British Caribbean Association (the BCA) seeks to achieve four objectives by:

1. Providing a meeting place and Forum for Discussions for responsible people involved in Caribbean Affairs and Race Relations and an opportunity for formal Social gatherings. Members meetings are usually held in the House of Commons.

2. Sponsoring lectures, Conferences and other Meetings to educate the wider Public and to improve mutual understanding between the Caribbean and British people.

3. Influencing Government Policy in the long-term interests of the Caribbean People both in their Countries and in Britain.

4. To give advice, help and assistance to Members, when required.

Government must make amends to Windrush generation…

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants says:

The 1971 Immigration Act gave Commonwealth citizens indefinite leave to remain, but the Home Office did not ensure they kept records of individuals given that right. Individuals therefore cannot prove they are in the UK legally.

Migration Observatory at Oxford University estimates there are 500,000 that this affects.

It has affected those from Australia, Nigeria, Canada and South Africa, India and Pakistan.

Visit www.jcwi.org.uk/windrush-deportations-hostile-environment

David Michael is a BCA Deputy Chairman, retired Scotland Yard Detective Chief Inspector and founder of the Black Police Association. Lord Boateng of Akeym and Wembley is joint President, Baroness Howells of St Davids is a BCA Life Vice President and Clive Lewis MP for Norwich South is chairman of the BCA.

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