May 10, 2021

Lambeth Council calls for action against Home Office Caribbean discrimination

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From Wandsworth Guardian UK

Lambeth Councillors have written to the Prime Minister demanding action against discrimination against Caribbean people.

This comes after reports people who arrived in the UK as children in the first wave of Commonwealth immigrations are facing deportation.

Many of them are were originally from the West Indies but have lived and worked in the UK for decades before being told they are here illegally.

Cllr Lib Peck, leader of Lambeth Council, said:  “Lambeth and the rest of the UK has been and continues to be enriched by people who come and make their homes here.

“There is a terrible and tragic irony that as the nation prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush and celebrate the enormous contribution of migrants from the West Indies, many of the ‘Windrush Generation’ now find they have to provide documentary evidence in order to stay in the country which has been their home for decades.

“I have urged Prime Minster Theresa May to use her powers to grant amnesty for people who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973. It would be the most appropriate way to celebrate the contribution of the Windrush Generation and underline the historic links with our Commonwealth family.”

Parliament will debate the issue this month after a petition calling on the Home Office to grant them an amnesty attracted more than 170,000 signatures.

Lambeth has an ethnically diverse population, eight per cent of which identify as Caribbean.

Under the 1971 Immigration Act, all commonwealth citizens living in the UK were granted indefinite leave to remain, but the Home Office did not keep a record of those granted indefinite leave to remain, or issue any paperwork, according to the BBC.

This has made it difficult for people to prove they are in the UK legally.

The Migration Observatory at Oxford University estimates there are 500,000 people resident in the UK who were born in a Commonwealth country and arrived before 1971.

IMAGE: Lambeth Council leader Lib Peck has called for action against discriminationPhoto © Magnus Andersson

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