Column: Amnesty now for Windrush children victims

I strongly condemn the civil rights abuses that commonwealth citizens who have lived in Britain for decades are currently being subject to by this Tory Government. The children of Windrush and others from the Commonwealth that arrived between 1948 and 1971 are currently being made destitute and stateless due to the Government's hostile immigration policies, and this needs to stop.

Thursday, 19th April 2018, 8:30 am

Britain owes a great debt of gratitude to the children of Windrush and their parents, they were invited to rebuild Britain after WWII as British citizens under the Nationality Act 1948.

Today, we are faced with a situation fuelled by right wing populism and the Governments hostile and inhumane immigration policies that pro-actively seek and encourage the collaboration of agencies and mainly white British citizens to help the state make people destitute in preparedness for deportation – some people have already been deported.

People that have lived here in the UK for more than 50 years, paid taxes, rebuilt this country, contributed to the social fabric that so many of us benefit from are having their basic human rights stripped, civil liberties denied and to an extent being dehumanised and riminalised. These people are being denied basic access to health care, losing their jobs,

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threatened with deportation from their children and even ending up in detention centres.

Cases such as Albert Thompson’s that faces a bill of £54,000 pound for cancer treatment despite living in the UK for 44 years; or Michael Braithwaite who lost his job because he was deemed as an illegal immigrant, or that of Paulette Wilson, who has lived in the UK for more than 50 years, only to be told she was an illegal immigrant – highlight the plight that many of the children of the Windrush find themselves in. The predicament of these Caribbean nationals is further exacerbated by the burden of proof placed on these individuals to demonstrate that their residency in the UK predates 1971.

Listening to David Lammy MP in parliament on Monday, pleading with the Home Secretary for the details of the inhumane treatment that British Caribbean nationals are being subject to currently by her department. This impassioned speech utterly broke my heart.

My trust in politicians and the state, little by little, day by day erodes a little more. My conclusion is simply this, that for some people like women at the bottom of the gender pay gap, misogyny, power and vulnerability will be the main issue that will prevent their progression, though for minorities it will be the fact they can never be fully accepted because of a combination of pigmentation, faith, class and vulnerability. For many minorities, the struggles of generations past, the geography, time and language may have changed, the struggle is largely still the same. I hope and pray, that for the sake of humanity and dignity this Government will grant an amnesty to the Windrush children.