Tempers in the United Kingdom (UK) have flared in recent weeks after threats and attempts were made to deport, to deny benefits to and to not fully recognize a generation of Britons, who immigrated to the shores of their colonial master, from the Caribbean between 1948 and 1971.
British reports have confirmed the denial of residency papers, medical benefits, employment and other services to these Brits - now referred to as the Windrush Generation.
This generation of mainly Caribbean-born Brits, mainly hail from the islands of Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. The first documentation of their entry into Britain are aboard the ship Empire Windrush, which sailed into the Tilbury Docks, Essex, England, on June 22, 1948. The passengers were mainly workers welcomed into the UK to fill an acute labor shortage after World War II. The ship, according to British records, carried 492 passengers - many of them children, the BBC-News reported. There are now more than 500,000 people resident in the UK who were born in a Commonwealth country who arrived in Britain before 1971.
Over the decades since, some of those passengers received their British residency papers and many didn't, especially those who were children traveling on the passports of their parents.
So amid present tightened immigration policies in the UK, some of the Windrush generation and their children have found themselves exposed to deportation and denied resident rights because of a lack of documentation in support of their British citizenship.
Members of the Caribbean delegation of Commonwealth government leaders meeting in London in the past week have had to insist upon a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss the issue of the Windrush Generation. At first May declined, but eventually caved to pressure and held the meeting.
At the conclusion of the Commonwealth heads of government meeting yesterday, Theresa May has since apologized and insisted the government was not "clamping down" on Commonwealth citizens. Home Secretary Amber Rudd has also apologized for the "appalling" way the Windrush Generation had been treated.
This Windrush Generation of Brits is a strongly patriotic group, who long ago pledged and served the British Crown without any hesitation. They left family, friends and lives behind in the Caribbean to embrace British society. Their exit from the Caribbean also contributed to the "brain-drain" of the developing region. Nurses, teachers, artisans, professions and menial workers were all part of the group that entered England.
Therefore, Theresa May's government must do the utmost to rectify the documenting as British citizens to the Windrush generation.