Lib Dem fury at Windrush betrayal

So, under cover of an incendiary and irresponsible statement by the Prime Minister on Brexit, the Home Office slips out a statement announcing that it is betraying the Windrush Generation by denying some of them the citizenship that it rightfully theirs.

From the Independent:

In a statement issued late on Friday afternoon, the Home Secretary said a number of Caribbean nationals who came to Britain between 1948 and 1971 would not qualify for citizenship because they failed to meet the “necessary good character requirement” due to committing criminal offences.

Windrush citizens are supposed to be afforded the same rights as British citizens, so the announcement is likely to prompt renewed accusations that they are effectively awarded second-class status.

You have to bear in mind that the criminal justice system has at times been institutionally racist and a black person going through it would have got a much rougher deal than a white person.

And the “good character requirement” has come under fire this week as, separately, it was revealed that children as young as 10 had been failed on character grounds.

Liberal Democrats have reacted with anger to this news:

The Lib Dem Campaign for Racial Equality said:

Ed Davey said:

The Windrush scandal was caused by Home Office hostility and inflexibility.

People who’d been living here perfectly legally for decades were detained and even deported because they couldn’t produce documentation going back 45 years. If people are now being refused citizenship for the same reasons, that would be totally unacceptable.

But we’re being asked to trust that same Home Office to get it right. And those who are refused get the right to a review… by the Home Office!

Liberal Democrats demand better. Responsibility for processing applications should be moved out of the Home Office altogether, into a dedicated, non-political unit. Applicants should be treated humanely and be given the support they need to prove their right to citizenship.

Liberal Democrat Immigrants tweeted:

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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5 Comments

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Sep '18 - 1:49pm

    Caron, I cannot see how the statement the Prime Minister made, relates to this decision on some people’s citizenship by the Home Office.

    I do not regard her statement as incendiary and irresponsible.

    It included threat the government are going to allow all EU citizens to remain in the UK, regardless of a decision by the EU on UK citizens. Renaging on promises is something people loathe, the government did not promise that, yet it seems are to do it. That is fantastic and we should applaud it.

    The substance of her statement was to strengthen her and the government hand in a negotiation in which the EU are not moving an inch. We should at times support the Prime Minister and government. Thee is a difficulty in a party that too often caved in to the right of the Tories, more than Sir John Major did when he was Prime Minister, never agreeing with the Tories when they are measured.

    Her statement in tone was measured and delivered with convincing arguments about the Northern Ireland border, which we should be very concerned about and for that , the Prime Minister was acting in a reasonable way, unlike the right of her party.

    On the Windrush generation, I have been scathing about the Home Office,, but the reasons, the good character nonsense, originate with the previous Labour government.

    The prime ministership of Sir John Major,and Heseltine his deputy, as our colleagues during the immigration debate reminded us, even including the Home Secretary Michael Michael Howard, is seeming like an era of humane decency and common sense.

  • Tony Greaves 22nd Sep '18 - 4:17pm

    “Incendiary and irresponsible” seems a very mild description of what was said by this dreadful and embarrassing woman.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 22nd Sep '18 - 4:23pm

    Quite, Tony. I thought it best to take the swear words out though.

  • If this is all 100% I am horrified and get ready for this, agree with Caron 100%.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 23rd Sep '18 - 5:11am

    We are at different points in the discussion, here I reckon, of different aspects.

    I am referring to the statement by the pm on EU citizens rights being protected, those here can stay regardless of whatever deal happens, I am celebrating this, and not tying it to the wretched Windrush generation fiasco, I am saying, best not to conflate, thats all.

    It seems the whole thing is a fiasco, though, so there is a connection!!!

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