Windrush Scandal: This was wrong, this was racist, it shouldn't have gone down like that
Thursday 26th April 2018 | Grace
On the 22nd June 1948, the MV Empire Windrush arrived in Essex, carrying with it 492 passengers arriving from Caribbean Islands and countries such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The families on board the ship were arriving in the UK to start a new life, helping Britain to get back on its feet after the destruction of the country from the world wars.
As at the time, these countries were part of the commonwealth and under Queen Elizabeth’s rule, everybody was given a UK passport to carry on their lives in Britain. These people who arrived in the UK from 1948 until 1971 are known as the Windrush generation and the number of people is believed to be around in their thousands.
Decades later, in 2018, it has come to light that many of the children who came with their families and are now adults, have been denied British citizenship and have been told to go back ‘home’, despite having been brought up in Britain and lived here from a very young age.
Stories are being discovered of people spending thousands of pounds applying for citizenship, money which they simply don’t have, to live in a place which is their home. Others are having to actually leave the UK and spend time where they were born, in a land which is foreign to them, and which they can’t work or have no friends or family. There have even been stories of people missing their own parent’s funeral in the Caribbean, in fear of not being able to get back into the UK if they attend. This is not okay!
To make things worse, officials have found out that the home office had a quota for the number of people that needed to be deported from the UK, and chose to use the people from Windrush and their families as a 'loophole'. This is racism in its purest form.
Not only were the people in the Caribbean forced to be part of British rule but after coming to the UK to help out the country, they have been denied citizenship. Despite Amber Rudd announcing that those of the Windrush generation have now been granted full citizenship, there are so many questions that still need to be asked. Why did this happen in the first place? Will this ever happen again? And ultimately, if this was white people, would getting a citizenship even have been a problem?
This is a time to remember how much people from other countries for generations have helped make Britain what it is today, and instead of shunning people, we should be thanking them.