Thousands of people who moved to the United Kingdom between 1948 and 1971, known as the Windrush generation, have found themselves at risk of deportation.
Indeed, it emerged that some individuals, who arrived from Commonwealth countries during the period, may have already been “deported in error” according to immigration minister Caroline Nokes.
Many of those affected were given British citizenship when they came to the UK under the British Nationality Act of 1948. and had never needed to apply for British passports, yet tightened regulations have led to some being concerned that they will need written proof of their right to remain in the UK or else risk deportation.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has described the treatment of these individuals as “appalling” and admitted the new policy has had “catastrophic effects on individuals’ lives”, but not before Labour MP David Lammy tore into the government’s approach in a heartfelt speech to Parliament on Monday.
Commenting in the light of an approach which The Guardian has described as “just cruel”, Lammy called strongly for Rudd to issue a direct apology on the matter and explain exactly how many individuals had been reported as a consequence of the new policy.
“The relationship between this country and the West Indies and the Caribbean is inextricable,” the MP for Tottenham noted, before making reference to the 25,000 Caribbeans who served alongside British soldiers in the First and Second World Wars.
In a passionate speech, which you can view in full below, Lammy asked difficult questions about individuals detained or denied NHS treatment and spoke of “a day of national shame”.
“It is inhumane and cruel for so many of that Windrush generation to have suffered so long in this condition and for the Secretary of State only to have made a statement today on this issue,” he said.
“Let us call is as it is: if you lay down with dogs, you get fleas, and that is what has happened with this far-right rhetoric in this country.”
Lammy, whose own parents arrived from the Caribbean after the British Nationality Act was passed, has pledged to keep fighting on the issue.
He has called on anyone affected by deportations, threats of deportations, loss of jobs or more to contact him directly.