PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley disclosed that some TT nationals, resident in the United Kingdom, were deported in the “Windrush generation” issue. Rowley made the disclosure at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s. Rowley also disclosed he met with some of these people at a meeting he held in London on Monday with members of the TT diaspora there.
Recalling the circumstances under which the Windrush generation came to the UK, Rowley said their descendants are now faced with a situation where, “this thing worked its way from come and help to go home.”
He said the majority of the people affected were from Jamaica and Barbados. While Caricom countries welcome British Prime Minister Theresa May’s assurances this situation will be rectified, Rowley said, “This will not end today.”
The Prime Minister said this will only end when, “all these people in the system, and their families are satisfied that they have the status they require.”
Caribbean migrants who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries have been labelled the Windrush generation, in a reference to the ship MV Empire Windrush which arrived in June 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, TT and other islands. While the number of TT nationals deported was small, Rowley said this went under the radar until it came to the attention of TT’s High Commission in London.
Rowley said the person he met with had gone through the entire system of being declared illegal and deported. He said the High Commission intervened and reversed the decision to deport that person. He said the issue was prominent during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London.
He said the UK’s political parties are now pointing fingers at each other over this situation. May has promised compensation would be paid to affected members of the Windrush generation. She also apologised to Caricom leaders about the incident.