Anthony Bryan’s ordeal was about to be dramatised in a BBC drama, Sitting in Limbo. Then the phone rang, says Guardian reporter Amelia Gentleman
Didn’t Sajid Javid promise to “do right by the Windrush generation”, on his first day as Home Secretary? (Yes, he did.) What happened? Yet now we see 75 Paul Nichols, who served i…
More than half of deportations from the UK are called off, The Independent can reveal – raising concerns that thousands of people are being unfairly targeted for forcible removal.
Figures obtained through freedom of information law show that of the 24,674 removal directions issued last year, 15,200 were cancelled. Of these, more than two-thirds were called off within a week of the scheduled removal and 45 per cent within just one day.
Lawyers and campaigners said the figures showed the impact of the Home Office’s “detain first, ask questions later” approach.
It comes after the High Court ordered the Home Office to stop using a controversial “no warning” tactic, which means a person can be told that at any point during the subsequent three months they may be given between three and seven days’ notice that they will be removed.
The decision meant the Home Office had to immediately cancel 69 removals scheduled for the coming days. During the hearing, the court heard that hundreds, if not thousands, of people were probably subject to the policy in any one year.
Many people from the Windrush generation have been told recently that they do not belong in Britain. Some have been detained and faced deportation. But they are no strangers to feelings of unbelonging. These often feature strongly in their stories of early life in Britain.
Most travelled with high expectations of what they regarded as the “mother country”. In interviews for my research, one Caribbean woman recalled: “When we were in school we were taught that England was the mother country. It supports its own, it looks after us”. Another felt loyalty towards England because “It was really the mother country and being away from home wouldn’t be that terrible because you would belong”.
Many also had a strong sense of their Britishness. Walter Lother, who came from Jamaica thought of his journey as migration within a common British world. He said:
When I came here I didn’t have a status as a Jamaican. I was British, and going to the mother country was like going from one parish to another. You had no conception of it being different.
Sam King came to Britain on the Empire Windrush. For him, being British was crucial to the enterprise
You could not be good on your own. Your good was no good. Your good had to be British.
Source: Windrush generation: the history of unbelonging : The Conversation
Trevor Rene was born in 1969 in Dominica, automatically becoming a British subject citizen because the Caribbean island was a British colony until 1978.
His grandfather had settled in the UK in 1948 – as part of the Windrush generation – and in 2008 he came over to visit family on a tourist visa. He’d been allowed to serve in the British Army for six years, then he fell in love and married Diane, an NHS clerk.
But in 2014 the Reserves were forced to let him go because his paperwork wasn’t in order. A year later he was locked up in a detention centre. He was released but has spent the last four years unable to work – and now his spousal visa has been rejected.
After he shared his story with i, the 49-year-old, who lives in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, wrote a first-person account of his ordeal.
There are no two ways about it – the Home Office is ruining my life and breaching both mine and my wife’s human rights.
We married last year – after being together for nine years – yet they refuse to allow me indefinite leave to remain. They say she doesn’t earn enough to sponsor me, yet I have provided the pay slips showing that she does.
The arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks on June 22, 1948 marked a watershed moment in the recent history of immigration to Britain. The day before the ship arrived from the Caribbean, the Evening Standard sent an airplane to photograph the vessel as it approached Britain. The photo appeared on the front page under the headline: “Welcome to Britain! Evening Standard plane greets 400 sons of Empire.” But the reception of the new arrivals was far from unequivocally positive.
Now, 70 years and three to four generations later, the legacy of those who arrived on the Windrush and the ships that followed is being rightly remembered – albeit in a way which calls into question how much their presence, sacrifices and contributions are valued in Britain.
Source: Black history is still largely ignored, 70 years after Empire Windrush reached Britain : The Conversation
Britain’s increasingly brutal regime of “migration control” has come to a head. After almost two years as home secretary, Amber Rudd resigned on April 29, apologising for misleading parliament of deportation targets, amid public revulsion at the treatment of British people who had come from the Caribbean half a century ago. The prime minister, who introduced many of those policies, remains in post.
In distancing himself from Rudd, her replacement Sajid Javid expressed an intention to focus on making Britain’s immigration system not “hostile” but “compliant”. To make it more humane too, here are six things he should think about.
1. Don’t use migration control as an excuse
When migration control stops being about crossing external territorial borders and turns instead to who gets access to particular services, people can be displaced without moving. And that’s dangerous. It resulted in unknown numbers of the “Windrush generation”, who were living normal lives for decades, suddenly being threatened with exclusion from British society unless they could prove otherwise. The label “migration control” must not be used to justify activities that are not about controlling migration.
Source: Six ways Sajid Javid can make British migration policy more humane : The Conversation
Theresa May’s first words as prime minister on the steps of Downing Street signalled that she would put “fighting against burning injustice” at the heart of her political agenda. Highlighting inequalities across the lines of ethnicity, class, gender and age, she set out her “mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone”.
These bold ambitions have been put under scrutiny as details have emerged about the way May’s government has treated people who moved to the UK from the Caribbean between the 1940s and 1970s. The Home Office didn’t keep records for many of those members of the so-called “Windrush generation” and, in 2010, their landing cards were destroyed by the Home Office. Changes to the law subsequently required to them have this paperwork to work, receive benefits, access healthcare and many have been left feeling unwanted and concerned about their futures in the UK. Bureaucracy and paperwork, boring as it may sound, can make a fundamental difference to our lives.
Now some of these same people may also be prompted for paperwork when wanting to exercise their democratic rights. For the first time in British elections, citizens will be asked to prove their identity at the polling station before being able to vote in the 2018 local elections in England. For now, it’s just a pilot and only five authorities will take part. But the government has set a trajectory that will see it steam ahead with expanding this policy. Its 2017 election manifesto vowed to “legislate to ensure that a form of identification must be presented before voting”.
We’ll be monitoring the pilots to see if it does end up limiting the rights of certain groups.
Source: Will Windrush citizens also lose their voting rights? Researchers will be watching to find out : The Conversation
We all need to look at ourselves and judge who of us is racist as we all have a right of live. Just because someone, for whatever reason may be different is no reason to be abusive to each other.
There should be zero tolerance on racist attitudes so that we can all live in peace with each other.
Mike in his articles attacking May and her truly foul decision to destroy the evidence needed for the Windrush migrants to show their right to live in our wonderful country also mentioned that poem by Martin Niemoller. Niemoller was one of the scandalously few Christians in Nazi Germany to oppose the regime. You know the poem. It’s become something of a cliché – It opens with the various groups the Nazis came for, with the refrain ‘I did not speak out, because I was not’ whichever group was being attacked. It ends with the line that when they finally came for him, there was no-one to stand up for him. This was the reality in Nazi Germany. The Nazis attacked group after group, not just Jews, but also Gypsies, Socialists, Communists, trade unionists, the disabled, and other political and religious dissidents. And it had an effect. The Catholic Centre Party…
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