May apologizes to Caribbean countries over UK treatment of post-war migrants

From Reuters - April 17, 2018

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May apologized to representatives from 12 Caribbean countries on Tuesday over recent harsh treatment by immigration bureaucrats of people who arrived in Britain as children after World War Two.

The Windrush generation, whose parents were invited to Britain to plug labor shortfalls between 1948 and 1971, have been caught up in a tightening of immigration rules overseen by May in 2012 when she was interior minister.

I want to apologize to you today because we are genuinely sorry for any anxiety that has been caused, May told leaders and diplomats from the Caribbean countries, who were in London for a summit of Commonwealth heads of government.

The scandal over the mistreatment of Windrush immigrants from what had been British colonies has cast a shadow over the summit, which is supposed to strengthen Britains ties to fellow Commonwealth countries as it prepares to leave the European Union.

Named after a ship which brought migrants from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean islands in 1948, the Windrush generation enjoyed a special status but that has been eroded over the years by successive immigration reforms.

The 2012 rule changes have led to some people being wrongly identified as illegal immigrants, asked to provide documentary evidence of their life in Britain they had never previously been required to keep, and in some cases denied rights, detained and threatened with deportation.


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