May reverses government position on Windrush immigration meeting

Britain's Prince Harry right and Prime Minister Theresa May attend a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Youth Forum in London Monday

There are now 500,000 people resident in the United Kingdom who were born in a Commonwealth country and arrived before 1971 - including the Windrush arrivals - according to estimates by Oxford University's Migration Observatory. This should not happen to people who have been longstanding pillars of our community. She couldn't, however, confirm the number of people who ended up being deported following the Home Office's draconian immigration policies.

An online petition calling for an amnesty for those who arrived in Britain from Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean as children and a lowering of the level of documentary proof required from people who have lived here since they were children has now attracted more than 136,000 signatures.

In an article in The Voice to mark this week's Commonwealth leaders summit in London, the minister said that "the overwhelming majority of the Windrush generation already have the immigration documents they need, but some - through no fault of their own - have not". This meant that their legal status changed despite living, working and paying tax in Britain for decades.

"Having not previously needed documentation they have now found themselves without any way of proving their status today".

Ahead of the 70th anniversary on 22 June, we would like to hear from those who were on board the Empire Windrush, their descendants, and people who have been inspired by the Windrush generation. "Any information that people can provide, from schools they attended to places of work, family or former addresses will help build this picture".

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Theresa May will meet representatives of 12 Caribbean countries this week to discuss the immigration problems experienced by some British residents of the Windrush generation, in an apparent U-turn on the issue.

A Home Office official said the rejection was because the subject of the meeting was not clear.

Mrs May is to meet her counterparts from Caribbean states in the margins of the Commonwealth summit in London on Tuesday amid growing anger about individuals facing the threat of deportation and being denied access to healthcare due to United Kingdom paperwork issues.

In a letter to prime minister Theresa May, more than 140 MPs from all parties have expressed concern about what the call a "growing crisis". "That these individuals are being treated with such contempt, disrespect and lack of dignity is shameful".

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