The Home Office has finally acknowledged its responsibility to British Citizens from the Caribbean - the Windrush generation. I am supporting a number of constituents.
But now, shockingly, we are finding other Commonwealth citizens who are in the same position. Where will all this end?
They are originally from Africa, but they are British, and yet they do not have the paperwork to prove it. The paper Immigration and Nationality Directorate letters that people come to my advice surgeries clutching have been enough to get them a job and their entitlements up to now.
But their employers have suddenly said, “But you need a biometric residence permit.” This happened strictly under this Government when they changed the rules four years ago.
Why did the Home Office not write to everybody on the immigration lists and say, “You now need this new document in order to hold your job and keep your rights”?
Had it done so, those people who are not yet citizens—those who have not chosen to go down the citizenship route, but have indefinite leave to remain—would have been in a better position.
The issue goes wider than just the Windrush generation. Let’s hope there is not just a quick fix for them, but also a much wider review of the whole system.