13. Apr, 2018


Human stories to bring it home how callous the Tories are - they feed the hate. It's despicable.

"And so it is, 60 years after Windrush brought the symbolic arrival of postwar Caribbean migrants, Braithwaite is one of many who now struggle to justify their existence. There’s Renford McIntyre, 64, who came to Britain from Jamaica when he was 14 to join his mum, worked as a tool setter, and is now homeless and unemployed, after he was fired when he couldn’t produce papers to prove his citizenship. Or 61-year-old Paulette Wilson who used to cook for MPs in the House of Commons. She was put in Yarl’s Wood removal centre and then taken to Heathrow for deportation, before a last-minute reprieve prevented her from being sent to Jamaica, which she last visited when she was 10 and where she has no surviving relatives. Or Albert Thompson, a 63-year-old who came from Jamaica as a teenager and has lived in London for 44 years. He was evicted from his council house and has now been denied NHS treatment for his cancer unless he can stump up £54,000, all because they question his immigration status.

Caribbean diplomats have once again called for the Home Office to show compassion. “This is affecting people who came and gave a lifetime of service at a time when the UK was calling for workers and migrants,” explains the Barbados high commissioner, Guy Hewitt. “They came because they were encouraged to come here to help build post-second world war Britain and build it into the multicultural place that it is now.” But if compassion is lacking, common sense would do.

Even as citizenship tests aim to impart to newcomers the “values of toleration and fair play”, immigration laws have sent longstanding citizens, who have paid their taxes and raised their families here, to homeless shelters or deportation centres because they have not been able to provide paperwork issued more than 40 years ago when they were kids."

While playing up ties with its ex-colonies, Britain also encourages the harassment of people who have spent their lives here, says Guardian editor-at-large Gary…