Many people have recently contacted me about the status of long-term immigrants living in the UK in relation to the Windrush scandal.
I am appalled by the Government’s treatment of people who arrived from the Commonwealth as children and are now facing the threat of deportation, as well as being denied access to public services such as healthcare and other entitlements.
Since becoming an MP, I have dealt with over 1,500 immigration cases and I am very concerned about the Government’s increasingly hard-line approach and policy in this area. I have also personally dealt with cases for constituents from the Windrush generation.
I am aware that over 150,000 people, including many in our constituency, signed the petition calling on the Government to grant amnesty to anyone who arrived in the UK as a minor between 1948-71, showing the depth of feeling on this issue.
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes has admitted that “terrible mistakes” were made in the cases involving the Windrush generation and Home Secretary Amber Rudd has described their treatment by her department as “appalling”.
I fully support calls by my colleague David Lammy MP for the Prime Minister to “guarantee the status of all Commonwealth nationals whose right to remain is protected by law and to provide an effective, humane route to the clarification of their status”.
On Monday, he secured an Urgent Question on this matter in the House of Commons, rightfully describing it as a day of “national shame” which has come about due to a “hostile environment” and policy begun under Theresa May when she was Home Secretary.
I also share concerns raised by my colleague Karen Buck MP during the debate that there is “real fear spreading through some of our diverse communities” as a result of this hostile environment.
The Government must urgently act to secure the rights of the Windrush Generation and reach a resolution to this issue as soon as possible. I can assure you that I and my Labour colleagues will maintain pressure on the Government to ensure this happens.