May reverses government position on Windrush immigration meeting

There is growing unease among politicians about the situation, which has affected an unknown number of people who arrived in the United Kingdom as children, but never formally naturalised or applied for a British passport.

The BBC advanced that Home Secretary Amber Rudd would be making a statement to the Commons on the crisis.

The Tottenham MP said it was a "national shame" that it had taken so long for the government to speak on the issue, calling it "inhumane and cruel" for those who waited for them to act.

The article comes after the prime minister reportedly agreed to a request for talks with Caribbean officials over the issue at the Commonwealth summit - having first rejected it.

The Windrush generation - nicknamed after the Empire Windrush ship which first brought West Indian workers to the United Kingdom in 1948 - was originally given indefinite leave to remain under the 1971 Immigration Act.

However, despite having been in the United Kingdom for the majority of their lives, the group of British residents have begun to experience issues as a result of tightened United Kingdom immigration requirements. But many arrived on their parents' documentation and never formally applied for British citizenship or a passport.

The Prime Minister will now meet with the leaders on Tuesday.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott demanded an apology from Theresa May over the problems faced by Windrush generation residents.

"Theresa May must apologise for this mess which has taken place as a direct effect of the hostile environment she created".

The Home Secretary admitted she did not know how many had been deported.

"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".

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

Downing Street reversed a decision for Theresa May not to meet Caribbean leaders over the problems faced by the Windrush generation.

Number 10 said May had only become aware of the request this morning and confirmed that she would be holding a meeting "at the earliest possible opportunity" with the Caribbean leaders.

She added: "This issue came to light because measures introduced in recent years to make sure only those with a legal right to live here can access things like NHS treatment and rented accommodation, meaning people must now be able to prove their status".

She urged anyone who is unsure about their immigration status to apply for a card to confirm their status from the Home Office, which was "currently establishing a dedicated contact point for people with questions and applications".

The Downing Street U-turn came after 140 MPs from across the parties wrote to the Prime Minister calling for an "immediate and effective" response to the concerns of Windrush generation residents.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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