Hanna to meet with British High Commissioner on UK deportation row

Monday, April 16, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Opposition Spokesperson on foreign affairs Lisa Hanna says she will be meeting with British High Commissioner, Asif Ahmad over the deportation risk faced by Caribbean people who moved to Britain from the Caribbean in the 1950s and 1960s.

The threat to the Windrush generation — named after the ship that brought over the first group of West Indian immigrants in 1948 — came about as a result of the UK Immigration Act of 1971.

Hanna, in a release from the People's National Party (PNP) today, said she will have further dialogue with Ahmad on the specific arrangements proposed by the British Home Office in due course.

Meanwhile, the Opposition spokesperson said she has taken careful note of the stern remarks of Labour MP David Lammy, a Windrush descendant, who described the situation as “inhumane” and “cruel”.

She also said her party is paying very close attention to the developments in London, including a statement given today by British Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP describing the treatment of some members of the Windrush generation as “wrong” and “appalling”.

Her comments come on the heels of an apology from the British Government today and an agreement to meet with 12 leaders of countries affected after initially turning them down.

Read more: UK apologises to Caribbean immigrants threatened with deportation

"The Opposition is heartened by the apology from the Home Secretary and her commitments to assist persons in obtaining updated and appropriate documentation confirming their citizenship across the United Kingdom.

"We support the establishment of a new task force dedicated to helping affected persons, to resolve all cases and complaints within two weeks in order to facilitate their regularisation.”

Hanna said it is appropriate that the matter be placed on the agenda of the current Session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting for a full and final resolution.

“This would go a far way to restore the full dignities and considerations befitting a group of pioneers who despite the uncertainties answered the call by the British Government to emigrate. Their yeoman service in the restoration of the British economy and society after the devastating effects of two World Wars is a matter of historical record and must never be taken for granted," Hanna said.

"This is an opportunity that should not be wasted as we are a powerful association of nations that the world relies on for leadership and continued friendship."

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