Who are the Windrush generation?

Prime Minister u-turns on Windrush meeting as ministers admit crisis should not be happening

Downing Street said the prime minister "deeply values" the contribution of Commonwealth citizens who moved to the United Kingdom many decades ago and stressed that nobody with a right to be in the country would be made to leave.

The PM's spokesman said the Home Office was expected to set out measures on Monday to support members of the Windrush generation in providing the documentation necessary to prove their right to live in the UK.

The announcement came amid growing anger about individuals facing the threat of deportation and being denied access to healthcare due to United Kingdom paperwork issues and anomalies affecting some immigrants who arrived between the late 1940s and early 1970s. Children could come in on their parents' passports.

"I do not want of any of the Commonwealth citizens who are here legally to be impacted in the way they have and, frankly, some of the way they have been treated has been wrong, has been appalling, and I am sorry", Rudd told parliament.

There is growing anger that long-term British residents have fallen victim to rule changes in 2012 aimed at stopping overstaying.

The Home Secretary said: "I wouldn't want anyone who has made their life in the United Kingdom to feel unwelcome or be in any doubt of their right to remain here". In 2013, her ministry displayed billboards on vans telling illegal immigrants to "Go Home or Face Arrest".

But who are the Windrush generation and why are they facing deportation?

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The Windrush row exploded as Commonwealth leaders arrived in London for the start of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) this week. Most of them, so called after the name of one of the first ships that arrived from Jamaica in 1948, are citizens of the United Kingdom and colonies, a type of citizenship conferred by the British Nationality Act of 1948. Ministers have said they hope to tighten ties and increase trade with the Commonwealth, a network of 53 countries, mostly former British colonies, after Britain leaves the European Union next year.

Pete Broadbent, the bishop of Willesden and until recently acting bishop of London, described the Home Office's handling of the controversy as "out of control" and inept.

The British government last week refused a request from the high commissioners of 12 Caribbean nations for a dedicated meeting on the subject at the Commonwealth meeting this week.

Number 10 said May had only become aware of the request this morning and confirmed that she would be holding a meeting "at the earliest possible opportunity" with the Caribbean leaders.

However, under new immigation laws, these people must now prove continuous residence in the United Kingdom since 1973, something that has turned out to be nearly impossible for those who have not kept up detailed records.

The policy was introduced to achieve the Government's lower migration targets, by making "living in the United Kingdom so unbearable that immigrants will decide to leave of their own accord", says Bush.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson Ed Davey accused the Home Office of "seriously failing" the Windrush generation.

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