Jamaica Observer / KINGSTON, Jamaica — Veteran journalist Fae Ellington is encouraging Caribbean people who moved to Britain in the 1950s and 1960s to remind the Government that their country was built by immigrants “I think West Indians who went to the UK to help rebuild it after WWII & their families born there, should walk throughout the streets in silent protest with placards bearing 3 simple words. #WeBuiltIt. Because they did. Even before they arrived…We had,” Ellington posted on Twitter today.
“We built their industries, the transportation sector, factories, houses, hospitals etc. West Indians were employed in these sectors and more and many subsequently went on to create their own businesses. And what of ALL that was taken from us during slavery?!” A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May this morning said she will meet with Commonwealth leaders this week following outrage over the deportation of Caribbean people who went to England during the 1960s but never formnalised their immigration status.
Around 140 British lawmakers have called for action over the “inhumane” plight of members of the so-called Windrush generation, named after the ship that brought over the first group of West Indian immigrants in 1948.
They were invited to work in Britain after World War II and given indefinite leave to remain, but many who failed to get their papers in order now risk being uprooted if they cannot prove their legal rights.
UK officials also admit that some Commonwealth citizens had been deported “in error” after failing to submit documents proving their immigration status.
OBSERVER ONLINE readers have weighed in on the issue, with some expressing outrage over the report. “This is a TRAVESTY I have to say it affects not just Jamaicans but all Commonwealth citizens including people who have served up to now in the British Armed Forces,” said one online user.
However, another contended that some migrants were simply careless when they failed to get their documents.
“My aunt arrived in the UK around 1980 and received her permanent stay during the amnesty around three years later. Anyone who didn’t sort themselves out then were just careless and assumed that they couldn’t be told to leave. I was born in the UK and grew up in Jamaica and I have made sure that I have citizenship for both countries and that I have kept in touch with Jamaica…. just in case.”