“The Windrush generation refers to the immigrants who were invited to the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados (the name Windrush refers to one of the ships they arrived on.)
The immigrants came at the invitation of the British government, which was facing a labor shortage due to the destruction caused by World War II. They played an invaluable role in helping to rebuild the country after the war.
The 1971 Immigration Act gave these Commonwealth citizens who were already living in the UK indefinite leave to remain. Many of the Windrush generation had arrived as children on their parents’ passports. And although they have lived in Britain for many decades – paying taxes and insurance – they never formally became British citizens.” (source)
“A crisis over the treatment of members of the Windrush generation broke in 2018 as a multitude of reports have came out about these (mostly elderly people) being denied medical services, losing their jobs and even facing deportation.
When Theresa May was home secretary in 2012, she created highly criticized new rules which required employers, health services and landlords to demand evidence of people’s immigration status. As a result of these and other ever tightening immigration rules, an estimated 50,000 long-term UK residents were faced with threat of deportation, detention, loss of jobs and benefits. They are still facing a potential loss of life saving benefits today.” (source)
“The Guardian reported that Paulette Wilson, 61, spent a week at a detention center and was nearly deported to Jamaica, despite having been in Britain for 50 years.
Albert Thompson (not his real name), 63, was also reported to have been denied free cancer treatment through the British publicly funded National Health Service (NHS) for failing to provide evidence that he had lived in the UK since 1973.” (source)
Michael Braithwaite, arrived from Barbados when he was nine, more than 50 years ago. Thinking that he was British, Braithwaite never applied for a passport and did not realize there was a problem with his immigration status until 2016.
In 2017, he lost his job at a school as a special needs teaching assistant where he had worked for more than 15 years. “If I was deported, I don’t know what I would do. To take someone out and just throw them out, like they had no worth,” Braithwaite told Al Jazeera.
“It’s about worth, what you’ve done to help Britain be the better place that it was.” Update: As a result of the Guardian’s original report, Michael Braithwaite collected documents in April 2018 confirming his right to be in the UK, papers which were expedited after media exposure of his case. (source)
“As of 2019, Windrush Generation can apply to receive compensation for the egregious and inhumane treatment they received. But there is concern they could lose their long term health and other life saving benefits if they receive those compensatory damages.
In response to the threat of legal action, govt officials have stated in internal documents that regulations will be introduced “in due course” to ensure those currently receiving benefits will not lose out on them if they get compensation payouts over the Home Office’s “hostile environment” rules.” (source)