United Kingdom: indignation after the abandonment of promises to Caribbean migrants

Protest in solidarity with the Windrush Generation in Brixton, London on April 20, 2018. Daniel LEAL / AFP

The British government came under fire on Friday January 27 for backing away from a series of promised reforms to redress the harm done to Caribbean migrants from the “Windrush generation“.

This takes its name from the ship Empire Windrush, landed on June 22, 1948 about forty kilometers from London, with on board men and women from Jamaica, but also from Bermuda or British Guyana, arriving to bring to the Kingdom United the manpower which it lacked in the post-war period.

But although supposed to be British, some of these migrants were treated as illegal immigrants and had to prove their presence in the United Kingdom each year or face deportation.

Reinforced measures

At the end of June 2020, Home Secretary Priti Patel accepted all thirty recommendations from an independent report advocating a humane approach to immigration.

His successor, the very right-wing Suella Braverman, has faced a cascade of condemnations since announcing on Thursday that she was going back on three of these commitments: the creation of a commissioner for migrants, the strengthening of the powers of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, and the holding of reconciliation events.

New betrayal of the “Windrush generation”

The British comedian David Harewood, who played among others in the series “Homeland“, denounced a renunciation “atrocious“. “We flirt dangerously with ideologues who don’t care about bringing people together“, said on LBC radio the comedian, whose parents, originally from Barbados, arrived in the United Kingdom in 1957. He further judged the Indian origins of Suella Braverman “practicefor the Conservative party, and pointed out that he had nothing in common with her.

As of Thursday, opposition MP David Lammy (Labour) judged on Twitter that “Britons arrested and deported by their own government are again spat on by the Conservative government“. In Parliament, he urged the Minister of the Interior to come and explain her decision verbally.

This was announced Thursday through a written statement, in which Suella Braverman, for example, considered that there are “more effective ways to reach those affectedrather than organizing reconciliation events. Another opposition figure, MP Yvette Cooper denounced a “new betrayal of the Windrush generation“. One of the organizers of the 75th anniversary of the Windrush generation, Patrick Vernon, denounced a “slap in the face“.

SEE ALSO – Dominique Reynié: “Migrants come more and more from countries where you learn to hate France”

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