Earlier this week former Home Secretary Amber Rudd finally handed in her resignation.
She left following the dispute over the Windrush scandal. In a bid to remove migrants who came to the UK before 1973 Amber Rudd threatened to have them forcibly deported if they could not prove that they entered the country legally.
For weeks she has been ducking and weaving her way through accusations and political scandal. Until the morning of April 29 when the Guardian released the full damning letter.
The document sent from Rudd to Downing Street stated that the Home Secretary had set an ‘ambitious but deliverable’ target for the number of migrants to be deported.
The letter dated January 30 completely disproves Rudd’s previous claims that she did not set a quota.
At the beginning of April, the then Home Secretary had claimed on numerous occasions that she had no prior knowledge of a target. She claimed in a tweet, that the aforementioned letter was ‘copied to my office as many documents are’.
The entire affair began in October 2010 with the Hostile Environment Policy. It is a scheme by the government with the aim to make it very difficult for migrants to remain in the UK.
However, it has recently come to light that from November 2017 to April 2018 the children of the Windrush generation had been needlessly targeted.
To set this in context. After World War II there was a massive influx of people to aid the post-war labour shortage. These migrants became known as the ‘Windrush generation’. The name ‘Windrush’ is a reference to the HMT Empire Windrush, a ship which brought over 450 migrants to London — many of whom were families.
These emigrants later went on to face discrimination and tense racial relations in Britain. Now their children are being forced out of the country despite living in the UK their entire lives.
According to latest figures, there are over 500,000 people living in Britain who were born in a Commonwealth country.
In 1971 the government introduced the Immigration Act. This meant that any Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were allowed to remain here indefinitely.
Some of these people have gone on to pay taxes, work and build families here in Britain.
When Windrush immigrants initially arrived in the UK they were given landing cards as identification, confirming their right to stay.
According to the Home Office those documents have since been destroyed. Following these revelations, former Home Secretary Amber Rudd went on to apologise for the ‘appalling treatment’ of the Windrush generation.
On April 23 it was announced that fees and language tests for British citizenship applicants would cease. The government would also be offering compensation to anyone affected.
Despite this, calls for Rudd to resign continued. There have even been accusations of institutional racism.
The idea of a quota to be fulfilled on the number of migrants to be deported is shameful. After these citizens were invited to the UK to help rebuild the country, they have every right to remain in Britain.
The attitude displayed here implies a callous approach to migrants. The Windrush generation were only desired for their labour; having fulfilled that purpose it was assumed they could be discarded like used machinery. The parallels are shocking to say the least.
This week the front pages have been adorned with images of the new Home Secretary Sajid Javid. He stands with his feet shoulder-width apart, looking slightly off camera in what many people are calling the ‘Tory power pose’.
His first address in the House condemned the actions of his predecessor, confirming that he will not be employing the policy of ‘hostile environment’.
‘The terminology, I think, is incorrect and I think it is a phrase that is unhelpful and it doesn’t represent our values as a country to use that phrase’.
In her resignation letter, Rudd claims she apologised at having ‘inadvertently misled’ the government over targets for the deportation of illegal immigrants.
The Labour Party has been quick to retaliate, demanding ‘a motion to return’. It is an action which requires the Queen to demand the release of pertaining documents. It seems they are determined that Rudd’s head not be the only one to roll.