Amber Rudd says Windrush generation will get UK citizenship

Changes are to be made for the generation of Caribbean families who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1973. Free citizenship will be awarded to them. Not only will this be applicable to Families from the Caribbean, but to anyone who settled in the UK during that period.

Citizenship fees for the Windrush generation will be waived, according to the Home Office. The language and British knowledge tests will also be scrapped.

Amber Rudd stated that she recognised the harrowing experiences that the Caribbean immigrants had been through while helping to rebuild post-war Britain.

This announcement came after reports were published about the treatment of the Windrush generation became known, prompting public outrage, as well as questions in parliament.

The mounting pressure on both Amber Rudd and Theresa May over the impact of the ‘hostile policy’ has been hard to contain. Both have publicly apologised for the distress caused to the immigrants. Several immigrants have been threatened with deportation, while many others have lost jobs and been denied medical treatment after changes were made to the immigration rules in 2014.

While rules need to be enforced to tackle illegal immigration, these have had unintended and devastating consequences on the Windrush generation. They are in the UK legally, although they battle to get documentation to prove this status.

Rudd said that they ‘are British in all but legal status’ and stated that this should never have been allowed to happen. The treatment of the Windrush generation amounts to one of the biggest scandals in the administration of the home office in many years.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants said that the measures were a ‘welcome step towards righting historical wrongs’

While it seemed that progress was being made, Amber Rudd failed to step up to the plate in interviews with political journalists at a lunch in Westminster. With a good amount of anger being directed at Rudd for the mishandling of the Windrush debacle what did come to light was Rudd’s confusion over the target for the deportation of illegal immigrants.

When asked by Yvette Cooper, committee chair about targets for the number of people deported from the UK, Rudd replied that ‘we don’t have targets for removals’. It was this statement which has finally led to Rudd resigning.

Along with leaks and claims, and counter-claims about deportation targets, it became clear that Amber Rudd had known about targets for deportations. 

Awaiting the announcement of a new Home Secretary leaves the public wondering what their deportation targets will be, and – more importantly – whether the Windrush generation will still be afforded the legal status it was promised.

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