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Petition calls for Windrush generation immigration amnesty

WINDRUSH: This April marks 70 years since Empire Windrush docked in Tilbury

A PETITION has been launched calling for immigration amnesty to be given to people from the Windrush generation.

Many British residents from the Caribbean who arrived in the UK as minors are facing deportation or uncertain immigration status.

The petition states: “Windrush Generation were invited as settlers and as British subjects. Minors also had the right to stay. We call on the government to stop all deportations, change the burden of proof and establish an amnesty for anyone who was a minor.”

The amnesty request is for those who arrived as minors in Britain between 1948 and 1971 to be allowed to granted permission to stay in the UK.

The petition has already garnered more than 10,000 signatures, meaning that the government will respond to the petition, which has been created by Patrick Vernon, founder of 100 Great Black Britons. If the petition receives more than 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in Parliament by the Petitions Committee.

David Lammy is among the supporters of the Windrush amnesty. He encouraged people to sign and share the petition.

He said: “Windrush generation and their children were invited here as citizens but the Home Office is treating them like criminals. I will be raising this in Parliament next month.”

Deon Green, a journalist who is supporting a number of people in similar situations to Braithwaite, told The Voice: “There’s a misconception from a lot of people who have been here since England was the mother country that they have the right to be here.”

He spoke of two cases in which both men were unable to prove their right to stay and work in the UK, having come to Britain decades ago on outdated travel documents that are now outdated.

For one of the men who had claimed benefits for an extended period of time and been granted a council flat, the issue was only discovered when he sought employment and was asked to prove his immigration status.

The man’s elderly mother lives in Jamaica but he is unable to visit her because he cannot obtain a British passport.

“If [his] mother should die, he cannot go to the funeral,” Green said.

Both men who Green spoke about wanted to remain anonymous.

“Most people don’t want to be named because they’re afraid they may be picked up and deported,” Green added.

Albert Thompson*, who has lived in London for 44 years, is locked into a dispute with the Home Office over his healthcare. Thompson was diagnosed with prostate cancer but was told that he would have to foot a £54,000 bill if he could not present a British passport.

*Thompson has requested his real name is not used in the media.

This year marks 70 years since the HMT Empire Windrush docked in Tilbury, bringing hundreds of West Indians to the UK to work.

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