UK Prime Minister Theresa May has apologised for the treatment meted out to those belonging to the Windrush generation.
She made the apology today during a meeting with 12 Caribbean Heads of Government.
The UK had previously declined to have talks with the countries of the region on the matter at the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government.
However, there was a sharp U-turn of this decision yesterday. The UK’s refusal had caused a heavy backlash on the controversial issue. Residents of the Windrush era are classified as illegal immigrants and are facing deportation.
In issuing an apology, the UK Prime Minister told the 12 Caribbean representatives that she was ‘genuinely sorry for any anxiety caused.’
Mrs. May has promised that no one will be deported.
According to the Guardian Newspaper in the UK, she has pledged to compensate anyone left out of pocket after it emerged that some people had lost their jobs and benefit entitlements. She has also pledged to compensate others who had to take special legal advice to avoid deportation.
The UK home secretary, Amber Rudd also yesterday announced a new task force to help those affected. The team is dedicated to ensuring no more Wind Rush-era citizens will be classified as illegal immigrants. Rudd has promised that cases would be resolved in two weeks and application fees would be waived.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness in his speech at the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government said it was “only fair” that people who had “significantly contributed” to the UK should be allowed to “take their place” as citizens.
He further stated that as the case now stands and as history will show, citizens of the former colonies, particularly the West Indies, migrated to Great Britain, where they have significantly contributed to the building and enrichment of the country.
Mrs. May told the Caribbean representatives the UK valued that contribution.
Prime Minister Holness who also met separately with Mrs. May to discuss his concerns about the treatment of the Windrush generation including Jamaicans says ‘justice is going to be done.’