Debate Magazine

Windrush Vs. the "Dreamers".

Posted on the 24 April 2018 by Doggone
OK, we are told about a group of people who came to a country for a better life, but are having problems with their immigration status.
Who do you feel sorry for: the people who didn't do it legally?
The people who were legal immigrants, who were actually invited to build a war torn nation, yet now find the legality of their immigration status in question?
Personally, I go with the second group, which is a discussion of the Windrush Generation. Given the Windrush crowd is pretty much black and from the Caribbean (although I do know of people from the Subcontinent who were invited under similar circumstances). Windrush refers to:
Those arriving in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries have been labelled the Windrush generation.
This is a reference to the ship MV Empire Windrush, which arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on 22 June 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, as a response to post-war labor shortages in the UK.
The ship carried 492 passengers - many of them children.
Since they were Commonwealth Citizens, they had a right of residency in the UK. The Windrush generation were legal, even if they were the subjects of racism. That is a big difference from the DAPA/DACA crowd who arrived illegally and have been looking over their shoulder from the start.
Although, there is some debate about their legality, but they were colonial citizens. This is a summary of the problem:
The Home Office did not keep a record of those granted leave to remain or issue any paperwork confirming it - meaning it is difficult for Windrush arrivals to prove they are in the UK legally.
And in 2010, landing cards belonging to Windrush migrants were destroyed by the Home Office.
Because they came from British colonies that had not achieved independence, they believed they were British citizens.
Add into this mess the fact that many Windrush migrants who have had their legal status called into question have been in the UK for decades, often paying taxes and making pension contributions. Windrush migrants must prove they have been in the UK continually since 1 January 1973, when they were granted the right to stay in the country permanently. Anyone who has left the country for more than two years loses their right to remain. The Home Office did not keep records of the people to whom it granted indefinite leave to remain in the 1970s. Some stayed but did not apply for British citizenship meaning there is no official record of their legal status. People must apply for an official stamp known as No Time Limit (NTL), at a cost of £229 to have this official recognition.
I see a few differences here between people who are called "Dreamers" and the Windrush crowd. First off, Windrush had a legal status and were invited to live in the UK. Second off, the Windrush crowd was living as legal citizens. Thirdly, their situation is primarily one of bureaucratic malfeasance, which isn't just attributable to the Tories since it was a Labour government that destroyed the landing cards.
That is quite a difference between the "dreamers" whose entry was not legal and their status is that of being unlawfully present in the US. There are legal remedies for the "dreamers", but they entail leaving the United States and going to the back of the line.
Tough shit, they should have paid an immigration lawyer less than they paid their coyote to get them into the US. Toss in we are talking human trafficking if there were indeed coyotes involved.
Bottom line, I am not a fan of amnesties. People can work to make the laws more favourable toward immigration if they have an issue with unlawfully present people getting proper immigration status. On the other hand, I have much more sympathies for people like the Windrush Generation, or the people whose residency will be put in the air by Brexit than I do with people who try to skirt immigration laws.
Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

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