David Lammy labels immigration policy 'national disgrace' as 'man faces deportation tomorrow' 3 years ago

David Lammy labels immigration policy 'national disgrace' as 'man faces deportation tomorrow'

Many of the so-called 'Windrush' generation of immigrants - who have lived and worked in the UK for decades - are being deported due to lack of official paperwork.

A Home Office policy which has left a number of elderly immigrants facing deportation has been attacked by Labour backbencher David Lammy.

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The Tottenham MP described the deportation of immigrants, including many who arrived in Britain between 1948 and 1971 as children, as a 'national disgrace' that made him 'ashamed of our great country'.

Writing on Twitter, Lammy added: "The PM must act urgently to halt this deportation and all other Windrush deportations.

"Heads must roll over this and the Home Secretary and Immigration Minister must consider their positions."

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The immigrants are referred to as the 'Windrush generation' in reference to the HMT Empire Windrush ship that first brought workers from the West Indies to Britain in 1948.

Although immigrants were invited to come to Britain from the Commonwealth due to labour shortages, because many of the generation came to the UK on their parent's passports, a lack of official paperwork has meant they are now being informed that they are here illegally.

The 1971 Immigration Act meant that all Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were granted indefinite leave to remain.

However, the Home Office did not keep a record or issue any paperwork following the legislation, so there are no official figures to say the number of people at risk of deportation. Estimates suggest around half a million Windrush immigrants are still living in the UK today.

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Alongside his scathing attack on the government, Lammy cited a number of cases of people facing deportation, including the son of a Windrush immigrant who is reportedly due for deportation tomorrow and 75-year-old Ruth Williams.

He said that Ms. William had told him: "I feel betrayed and a second-class citizen in my own country. This makes me so sad and the Home Office must show some compassion.

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"I am unwell and almost 75. I live on my own and I need my son to stay here. I need my family around me and I can’t face being alone. He has apple [sic] Home Office and been refused twice."

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Speaking in a Parliamentary debate on the issue yesterday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd condemned the “appalling” actions of her own department towards Windrush-era citizens, saying that the Home Office had “lost sight of individuals” and become “too concerned with policy”.

Rudd added that she was “not aware of any specific cases of a person being removed” and she would meet with Commonwealth high commissioners to find out “if there are any situations where they have been removed”.

“I do not want any of the Commonwealth citizens who are here legally to be impacted in the way they have,” she said.

“Frankly, some of the ways they have been treated has been wrong, has been appalling and I am sorry.

“That’s why I am setting up a new area in my department to ensure that we have a completely new approach to how their situation is regularised.”