Theresa May meets Caribbean leaders …”NO ONE WILL BE DEPORTED”

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British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has apologized to the 12 Caribbean Heads of Government for the treatment of Windrush citizens and promised that no one would be deported.

The Prime Minister told a meeting with Caribbean leaders on Tuesday she wanted to dispel any impression that her government was “in some sense clamping down on Commonwealth citizens, particularly those from the Caribbean”.

She added, “I take this issue very seriously. The home secretary apologized in the House of Commons yesterday for any anxiety caused. And I want to apologize to you today. Because we are genuinely sorry for any anxiety that has been caused.”

May added, “Those who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973 and lived here permanently without significant periods of time away in the last 30 years have the right to remain in the UK, as do the vast majority of long-term residents who arrived later. I don’t want anybody to be in any doubt about their right to remain here in the United Kingdom.”

She pledged to compensate anyone left out of pocket after it emerged that some people had lost their jobs and benefit entitlements, and others had had to take specialist legal advice to avoid deportation.

She added: “We would also like to reassure you that there will be no removals or detention as part of any assistance to help these citizens get their proper documentation in place.”

After the meeting, Jamaican Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, said he accepted May’s apology, stating: “I believe that the right thing is being done at this time.

“But, they are assuring us that they are checking the records that they have to make sure that that is not the case. If persons were deported, they have told us that they have established a hotline … and they are encouraging persons who may fit that category to call it.”

Asked if he was satisfied that nobody had been deported as a result of UK paperwork issues, Holness said: “I asked the direct question of the Prime Minister. She was not able to say definitively that that was not the case.”

No 10 Downing Street had initially refused to meet the leaders but a furore over the treatment of the affected people, who predominantly arrived in the UK as children from the Caribbean, led the home secretary, Amber Rudd, to apologise to the Commons on Monday.

The home secretary announced the creation of a new Home Office team, staffed by 20 officials, dedicated to ensuring that Commonwealth-born long-term UK residents would no longer find themselves classified as being in the UK illegally. She also promised that cases would be resolved within two weeks and application fees would be waived.

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JAMAICAN PRIME MINISTER, ANDREW HOLNESS, SPEAKS WITH BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY ON TUESDAY.

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