Amber Rudd sorry for 'appalling' treatment of Windrush immigrants

New rules require documentary evidence of the right to be here which many Windrush children do not have as anyone who arrived in the UK from a Commonwealth country before 1971 was given indefinite leave to remain meaning many did not apply for a British

Her announcement came after Downing Street said Prime Minister Theresa May wanted to ensure that "no-one with the right to be here will be made to leave".

They are known as the Windrush generation - a reference to the ship, the Empire Windrush, which brought workers from the West Indies to Britain in 1948.

Nearly half a million people left their homes in the West Indies to live in Britain between 1948 and 1970, according to Britain's National Archives.

There is widespread anger that long-term British residents have fallen victim to rule changes in 2012 - when May herself was interior minister - aimed at stopping overstaying.

However, the Home Office did not keep a record of those granted leave to remain or issue any paperwork confirming it, meaning it is hard for the individuals to now prove they are in the United Kingdom legally.

Named after the vessel that brought the first group of immigrants from the Caribbean to rebuilt post-war Britain in 1948, numerous Windrush generation arrived believing their rights were guaranteed for life, and never applied for a passport or other documentation confirming their residency rights.

In the Commons, David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, condemned the Home Office's push towards a "hostile environment" for illegal migrants which was first implemented by May as Home Secretary, and the "far-right rhetoric" that has taken hold in the UK.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted it was "disgraceful" that the rights of the Windrush generation had been brought into question, calling on Mrs May to "answer serious questions about how this had happened on her watch".

"This is about individuals, and we have seen the individual stories, and they have been, some of them, awful to hear, and that is why I have acted", Ms Rudd said.

Lammy said: "It is inhumane and cruel for so many of that Windrush generation to have suffered so long in this condition".

"My advice to anyone who finds themselves in these circumstances is to contact your local MP ... that is what we are there for". Her change of heart was apparently triggered by a published letter signed by 140 Members of Parliament expressing their collective concern for the people affected. "They have the right to stay and we should be reassuring them of that", Mordaunt said during an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today show.

The row has threatened to overshadow Britain's hosting of the annual Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London this week.

Mrs May is to meet her counterparts from Caribbean states in the margins of the Commonwealth summit in London on Tuesday amid growing anger about individuals facing the threat of deportation and being denied access to healthcare due to United Kingdom paperwork issues.

The British government last week refused a request from the high commissioners of 12 Caribbean nations for a dedicated meeting on the subject at the Commonwealth meeting this week.

A Home Office official said the rejection had been because the subject of the meeting was not clear.

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