MEMBERS of the âWindrush generationâ of Caribbean-born Brits have spoken out about the agony of being told they have NO right to live in the UK – despite being here for decades.
Middle-aged UK citizens have lost their jobs, been handed huge medical bills and even been kicked out of the country just because they donât have the right paperwork.
And theyâve been told their real home is in the Caribbean – even though most of them left as children and have only ever lived in Britain since.
One victim is 61-year-old Paulette Wilson, who moved to Britain from Jamaica as a child in 1968.
Last year Paulette, who used to work in Parliament as a cook, was told by the Home Office she must leave the UK and taken to the notorious Yarlâs Wood detention centre.
After a week in custody, she was moved to Heathrow and was about to put on a plane to Jamaica – only to be saved by a last-minute intervention from her local MP, who pointed out there is no evidence she is an illegal immigrant.
Her paperwork problem came because she has never applied for a British passport – meaning she was told she had to provide alternative documents from every year sheâs lived here.
Although the Home Office has now admitted she is living here legally, she has not received an official apology.
Cancer sufferer Albert Thompson, 63, was a teenager when he moved to London from Jamaica, and has continued to live in the capital ever since.
So he was shocked to discover the Home Office claims to have âno recordâ of him – which he only realised when he went into hospital for cancer treatment.
NHS officials told him that without documentary evidence that he is living legally in Britain, he canât access free medical treatment – meaning he would have to pay Â£54,000 up front to get radiotherapy.
Mr Thompson has gone without treatment because he canât afford the cash, and is still fighting to have officials acknowledge the fact that he has been settled here for more than four decades.
Michael Braithwaite, 66, was born in Barbados but has lived in Britain since he was nine years old.
He worked as a teaching assistant in North London for 15 years, only to be told recently that he was being sacked because he canât prove he has a legal right to stay in the country.
The Home Office repeatedly refused to confirm his right to live and work in the UK, making it impossible for him to get another job.
Only after the newspapers started to cover his case last week did the Government finally get in touch to confirm that he will not be deported.
Hubert Howard, 61, has had trouble with the authorities for more than a decade because he was unable to prove his exact residence history.
He was just three when his family moved from Jamaica – but because he never filled out the right form, heâs never been granted the British passport he is eligible for.
As well as losing his job and benefits, Hubert was banned from travelling to Jamaica to be with his ill mother before she died, fearing he would never be able to come back to Britain.
Ministers today admitted that some members of the Windrush generation have been wrongly sent to the Caribbean because they couldnât produce paperwork from each year theyâve lived in the UK.
Theresa May was forced into a U-turn as she agreed to hold a summit with Commonwealth leaders to discuss the plight of those affected.
- Have you been affected by the Windrush generation crisis? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org