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United Kingdom admits 'horrendous' mistakes over 'Windrush' immigrants denied rights

United Kingdom admits 'horrendous' mistakes over 'Windrush' immigrants denied rights

Thousands of British residents who arrived from the Caribbean are suddenly being denied basic rights after being incorrectly identified as illegal immigrants.

Guy Hewitt, the Barbados high commissioner, said leaders had sought a meeting with Theresa May but were told it was not possible. "It is not explicitly on the agenda, but we want our heads of government to bring it to the attention of the wider body".

Hundreds of thousands of people who arrived in the United Kingdom from Commonwealth countries in the 1950s and 1960s, and were given indefinite leave to remain in 1971 - but the Home Office did not issue paperwork at the time.

The British government has promised to act to reverse "terrible mistakes" made over the treatment of immigrants from the so-called "Windrush" generation, after revelations that people who came to the United Kingdom decades ago are being told to leave the country.

"The Windrush Generation must have their rights as British citizens confirmed, any who have been deported must be invited back to the United Kingdom immediately and those who oversaw their deportations must be held to account". Many who subsequently came were given indefinite leave to remain but records were not kept.

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The Migration Observatory at Oxford University told The National that up to 57,000 of the half million people who moved to the United Kingdom before the 1971 Immigration Act came into law could be at risk of being removed from the country.

The Government's "hostile environment" immigration policy means that some British residents, who have lived legally in the United Kingdom for decades, are now facing requests for official documentation for the first time.

Some "terrible mistakes" have been made over the Government's treatment of the Windrush generation who came to the United Kingdom from the Commonwealth 70 years ago, the immigration minister has admitted.

A petition calling for those affected to be granted amnesty has reached over 100,000 signatures, meaning it could trigger a debate in Parliament.

Nearly every British political party, from the Greens to UKIP, have opposed the move, which has also united such disparate bodies as The Guardian and the Daily Mail.