Parliament will consider debating the immigration status of members of the ‘Windrush Generation’ after a petition received a huge wave of support.
More than 136,000 people have signed the petition calling for amnesty for Caribbean-born children who arrived in Britain between 1948 and 1971.
It follows claims that many long-term British residents are facing deportation and have been denied healthcare due to paperwork problems.
The petition calls for an amnesty for Windrush immigrants who arrived as children, adding: ‘The Government should also provide compensation for loss and hurt.’
LBC presenter Iain Dale criticised the move, writing: “It is a total and utter disgrace that people who have devoted their lives to this country are being treated in this reprehensible manner.”
Downing Street initially rejected a meeting on the Commonwealth-born residents’ immigration issues, but on 16 April said Theresa May will meet with counterparts from Caribbean states to discuss concerns.
Meanwhile, a group of 140 MPs from across the political spectrum has acted. They have signed a letter, co-ordinated by Labour’s David Lammy and backed by Jeremy Corbyn as well as some Conservative MPs, to Theresa May which calls for an ‘immediate and effective’ response to concerns.
And a Cabinet member has insisted that improvements need to be made in dealing with the concerns some of the generation face.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘People who are in that situation, there is absolutely no question of their right to remain, and their right to gain access to services such as healthcare.
‘What clearly needs to happen is we need to do a better job with the process that these individuals are having to go through.
‘People should not be concerned about this – they have the right to stay and we should be reassuring them of that.’
Barbados high commissioner Guy Hewitt told the BBC: ‘I have held as a great honour the fact that I am the first London-born high commissioner for Barbados.
‘This is the first time I have felt that the country of my birth is saying to people of my region ‘you are no longer welcome’.
Labour has called a public meeting with affected people on 19 April.