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Old 17th April 2018, 01:01 AM   #1
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The Windrush legacy

BBC News: Windrush generation - May to meet Caribbean leaders after apology

"Prime Minister Theresa May will seek to reassure Caribbean leaders later that the Windrush generation will not be deported over paperwork issues.

The government has apologised after it emerged that some people who arrived from the Commonwealth decades ago as children were now being incorrectly identified as illegal immigrants.

The home secretary has announced a new taskforce to help those affected."

----------

After the first rumblings of the "Albert Thompson" case a few weeks back, the issue of undocumented child migrants who arrived in the UK from the Commonwealth up to the 1970s seems to have exploded quite spectacularly.

Clearly this is a situation that needs to be sorted out quickly and humanely, but I'm a bit troubled by politicians falling over themselves to either abjectly apologise for it (cf. Amber Rudd), or make out this is some massive injustice (cf. David Lammy).

We are talking about people who have been in the country for 40 years and upwards, who are more than aware that they were born abroad, and yet have never regularised their nationality status, even though by definition there seem to have been a much larger number who did that long ago.

It stands to reason that none of them have ever left/returned to the UK since they first arrived, as they won't have had passports. Sure, not all of the UK population take holidays abroad, but a hell of a lot do. How many were avoiding that, because they knew perfectly well that their status was unclear?

It seems to me that the bulk of those affected may well have been sticking their heads in the sand for decades, avoiding the issue, and hoping their own status never came to light. Most of them could probably have avoided the sort of unpleasant and overbearing attention they have recently experienced at the hands of immigration authorities of late.
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Old 17th April 2018, 02:55 AM   #2
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It's a bad joke. These people were invited here and have lived here for generations. Even if they 'should' have had documentation, which is debatable, the right thing to do would be for the government to contact them to help them get the correct paperwork, not to turn up and arrest them without warning and sling them in a detention centre to await deportation.

It's all about easy targets, so the government can say they're taking action on 'illegal' immigration without, er, taking action on illegal immigration. Five hundred terrorists return to this country after fighting for ISIS and they're welcomed back with offers of support and, of course, the mandatory welfare cheques. Foreign hate preachers, terrorists, mass murderers, thugs and gang members are permitted to remain here because deporting them would breach their right to 'a family life', yet hard-working people who helped rebuild Britain after the war and are as British as anybody else here are targeted for deportation.

If it was a stand-alone bureaucratic mix up then OK, we could put it down to incompetence and move on. But it's not. It happens time and time again, now the Windrush, before that the Afghan translators, before that the Gurhkas, where immigrants or potential immigrants who have helped and fought for this country are deemed undesirable, whereas genuinely dangerous immigrants are allowed to stay.
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Old 17th April 2018, 03:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
It's a bad joke. These people were invited here and have lived here for generations. Even if they 'should' have had documentation, which is debatable, the right thing to do would be for the government to contact them to help them get the correct paperwork, not to turn up and arrest them without warning and sling them in a detention centre to await deportation.
Amen.
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Old 17th April 2018, 03:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
It stands to reason that none of them have ever left/returned to the UK since they first arrived, as they won't have had passports. Sure, not all of the UK population take holidays abroad, but a hell of a lot do. How many were avoiding that, because they knew perfectly well that their status was unclear?

It seems to me that the bulk of those affected may well have been sticking their heads in the sand for decades, avoiding the issue, and hoping their own status never came to light. Most of them could probably have avoided the sort of unpleasant and overbearing attention they have recently experienced at the hands of immigration authorities of late.
Or they never gave it much thought, assuming that a lifetime of education, marriage, family, work and taxes somehow 'proved' they were citizens. That gets my vote. But, as baron says, it should be the default job of the Home Office to help sort it out, rather than flex their muscles and impose the letter of the law just because they can.

But I recall that just before Rudd apologised for the mess, May was stonewalling on the issue. She sometimes seems too devoted to punishing people.
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Old 17th April 2018, 03:51 AM   #5
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I suspect May is feeling the pressure somewhat because as I understand it the situation is in many ways fallout from tighter rules introduced when she was Home Secretary.

Of course, we are only hearing of the cases where there have been clear failings. Is there universal failure to acknowledge the status of the Windrush generation, or are there cases where individuals have been successful in getting their status clarified without getting dumped on by the system?
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Old 17th April 2018, 04:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
BBC News: Windrush generation - May to meet Caribbean leaders after apology

"Prime Minister Theresa May will seek to reassure Caribbean leaders later that the Windrush generation will not be deported over paperwork issues.

The government has apologised after it emerged that some people who arrived from the Commonwealth decades ago as children were now being incorrectly identified as illegal immigrants.

The home secretary has announced a new taskforce to help those affected."

----------

After the first rumblings of the "Albert Thompson" case a few weeks back, the issue of undocumented child migrants who arrived in the UK from the Commonwealth up to the 1970s seems to have exploded quite spectacularly.

Clearly this is a situation that needs to be sorted out quickly and humanely, but I'm a bit troubled by politicians falling over themselves to either abjectly apologise for it (cf. Amber Rudd), or make out this is some massive injustice (cf. David Lammy).

We are talking about people who have been in the country for 40 years and upwards, who are more than aware that they were born abroad, and yet have never regularised their nationality status, even though by definition there seem to have been a much larger number who did that long ago.

It stands to reason that none of them have ever left/returned to the UK since they first arrived, as they won't have had passports. Sure, not all of the UK population take holidays abroad, but a hell of a lot do. How many were avoiding that, because they knew perfectly well that their status was unclear?

It seems to me that the bulk of those affected may well have been sticking their heads in the sand for decades, avoiding the issue, and hoping their own status never came to light. Most of them could probably have avoided the sort of unpleasant and overbearing attention they have recently experienced at the hands of immigration authorities of late.
Information Analyst, that is a very cynical view. Even if one or two, or even dozens, or hundreds held off applying for passports because of fear of rejection, fact is, under the Immigration Act 1971, if they were here between 1945 - 1971 as direct descendant offspring of those admitted quite legally and properly, they were bona fide citizens.

The issue of 'how come they never applied for a passport in 40 years' is easily answered by looking at the figures of the number of indigenous Brits, who also have never had passports.

I was really shocked when I saw the numbers, as it is surprisingly high. There are lots and lots of mostly working class folk who have never been abroad.

An extraordinarily high percentage of Americans have also never had a passport.

It is really nauseating that people assume the worst of these poor people being persecuted after years of hard work and bringing up families.

Whoever is responsible should be held to account.
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Old 17th April 2018, 04:24 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Or they never gave it much thought, assuming that a lifetime of education, marriage, family, work and taxes somehow 'proved' they were citizens. That gets my vote. But, as baron says, it should be the default job of the Home Office to help sort it out, rather than flex their muscles and impose the letter of the law just because they can.

But I recall that just before Rudd apologised for the mess, May was stonewalling on the issue. She sometimes seems too devoted to punishing people.
It wasn't May's fault she knew nothing about her officials turning down a meeting ATT.

I see May as a decent type of person who will do the right thing.
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Old 17th April 2018, 04:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Or they never gave it much thought, assuming that a lifetime of education, marriage, family, work and taxes somehow 'proved' they were citizens. That gets my vote.
I think that would be a rather naïve assumption. All those things should be sufficient to demonstrate that they have been in the country long enough to have come here perfectly legally and thus acquire the correct documentation, but we seem to be dealing with people who have had decades to do that, but haven't.

It is only now, due to relatively recent changes that have seen the Home Office act more aggressively on such matters, that problems have arisen. Blame for how they have handled it does fall firmly on the Home Office, as that cannot have been unaware the situation, but they do seem to be very much under pressure to deport as many "illegal immigrants" as possible, and the people in this situation are very much the low-hanging fruit.

The same goes for the aforementioned "Alfred Thompson," whose status supposedly only came to light due to the imposition of more stringent entitlement-checking on the NHS. "Thompson" in particular claimed that he'd been paying tax and NI for X number of years, and one would think that that would be trivially easy to confirm, especially given that anybody can request a summary of all their NI contributions as a matter of routine.

Last edited by Information Analyst; 17th April 2018 at 05:00 AM. Reason: Freudian slip...
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Old 17th April 2018, 04:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
Of course, we are only hearing of the cases where there have been clear failings. Is there universal failure to acknowledge the status of the Windrush generation, or are there cases where individuals have been successful in getting their status clarified without getting dumped on by the system?
Yes, I think that cuts to the heart of the matter. I am sure that the majority will have addressed their status due to various natural "prompts" over the years, and problem now is with the minority who didn't. Some may well have done nothing due to genuine naïve ignorance, but it stands to reason there will be some who have wilfully avoided doing anything, perhaps some precisely because wrongly assumed that they were not legal residents.
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Old 17th April 2018, 04:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Information Analyst, that is a very cynical view. Even if one or two, or even dozens, or hundreds held off applying for passports because of fear of rejection, fact is, under the Immigration Act 1971, if they were here between 1945 - 1971 as direct descendant offspring of those admitted quite legally and properly, they were bona fide citizens.

The issue of 'how come they never applied for a passport in 40 years' is easily answered by looking at the figures of the number of indigenous Brits, who also have never had passports.

I was really shocked when I saw the numbers, as it is surprisingly high. There are lots and lots of mostly working class folk who have never been abroad.

An extraordinarily high percentage of Americans have also never had a passport.

It is really nauseating that people assume the worst of these poor people being persecuted after years of hard work and bringing up families.

Whoever is responsible should be held to account.
I don't think it's particularly cynical at all. A lot of people do bury their heads in the sand about all sorts of issues, and then act all surprised when it affects them detrimentally. I'm very much reminded of a few of the questionable "examples" trotted out by the media of women who are apparently shocked that they are not approaching retirement age as imminently as they thought, due to well-publicised changes to the age women are entitled to a state pension. I can believe that a lot of people don't pay attention to the news, but they apparently must have also not paid much attention to what was happening with all their female relatives, friends, work colleagues, neighbours, etc. of a similar but slightly older age who were retiring just ahead of them.

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Old 17th April 2018, 05:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Or they never gave it much thought, assuming that a lifetime of education, marriage, family, work and taxes somehow 'proved' they were citizens. That gets my vote. But, as baron says, it should be the default job of the Home Office to help sort it out, rather than flex their muscles and impose the letter of the law just because they can.

But I recall that just before Rudd apologised for the mess, May was stonewalling on the issue. She sometimes seems too devoted to punishing people.
And in an interview one minister dodged the question about whether any of these people have been deported so hard the interviewer took it as a yes. And then you have cases like this one from the BBC article:

Quote:
Michael Braithwaite, who moved to the UK from Barbados when he was nine, was let go from his 15-year job as a special needs teaching assistant after his employers ruled he was an illegal immigrant.
He said: "I fell to pieces inside. I didn't actually show it externally until I came home and I sat and I cried.
"My whole life sunk right down to my feet. I was distraught."
Bear in mind this mans problems go back to the tougher policies Theresa May introduced as Home Secretary and the failure of previous governments to create proper documentation.
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Old 17th April 2018, 05:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post

The same goes for the aforementioned "Alfred Thompson," whose status supposedly only came to light due to the imposition of more stringent entitlement-checking on the NHS. "Thompson" in particular claimed that he'd been paying tax and NI for X number of years, and one would think that that would be trivially easy to confirm, especially given that anybody can request a summary of all their NI contributions as a matter of routine.
That doesn't help if your NI contributions started after the 1971 cutoff date.

Of Anthony Bryant, who tried to confirm his arrival date through school records:

" ...but he has struggled to gather enough documents to convince the Home Office that he arrived in the 1960s. Shoreditch secondary school has become an academy, and destroyed its records. Northwold primary school only keeps records for 20 years."

Other victims of this brutal policy have been asked to provide documentation that few people would keep for so long.
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Old 17th April 2018, 06:35 AM   #13
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Just spotted this shocker (If it's true, of course. We have only a whistle-blower's word for it):

"The former employee (who has asked for his name not to be printed) said it was decided in 2010 to destroy the disembarkation cards, which dated back to the 1950s and 60s, when the Home Office’s Whitgift Centre in Croydon was closed and the staff were moved to another site. Employees in his department told their managers it was a bad idea, because these papers were often the last remaining record of a person’s arrival date, in the event of uncertainty or lost documents. The files were destroyed in October that year, when Theresa May was home secretary."

!Home Office staff members have been reluctant to consider alternative records, such as National Insurance contributions, unless they are presented within a dossier of papers proving residency every year for decades. People who have been classified as being in the UK illegally are often unable to put together the evidence, and cannot afford legal assistance."

Great eh? The very people judging these cases destroy critical evidence.
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Old 17th April 2018, 06:38 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
It wasn't May's fault she knew nothing about her officials turning down a meeting ATT.

I see May as a decent type of person who will do the right thing.
I see her as an utter incompetent, flailing around and lurching from crisis to crisis.
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Old 17th April 2018, 07:07 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
I see her as an utter incompetent, flailing around and lurching from crisis to crisis.
And the new 'hard line' on illegal immigration was introduced on her watch as Home Secretary. Seems nobody told the Home Office that that was going to snag a bunch of people whose only real offence was never getting a passport as a kid and failing to keep detailed personal records from the 60's.

The two people who should have been exercising some control over its implementation are the very two now offering conspicuous public apologies; the two Home Secretaries, Rudd and May.

I'm tempted to suspect that Rudd acted unilaterally here, and May was obliged to follow her lead.
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Old 17th April 2018, 07:42 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by baron View Post
It's all about easy targets, so the government can say they're taking action on 'illegal' immigration without, er, taking action on illegal immigration. Five hundred terrorists return to this country after fighting for ISIS and they're welcomed back with offers of support and, of course, the mandatory welfare cheques. Foreign hate preachers, terrorists, mass murderers, thugs and gang members are permitted to remain here because deporting them would breach their right to 'a family life', yet hard-working people who helped rebuild Britain after the war and are as British as anybody else here are targeted for deportation.
Right, it’s a bad joke.

Hundreds of terrorists are let into the country.
- Corbyn thinks that they are ‘friends’ who have the correct idea regarding Israel
- May has undocumented but assimilated windrush immigrants arrested as a distraction

I expect we are due for some politicians to start wondering why people distrust them, or feel that their vote doesn’t matter. Perhaps a new study is needed?
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Old 17th April 2018, 01:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Just spotted this shocker (If it's true, of course. We have only a whistle-blower's word for it):

"The former employee (who has asked for his name not to be printed) said it was decided in 2010 to destroy the disembarkation cards, which dated back to the 1950s and 60s, when the Home Office’s Whitgift Centre in Croydon was closed and the staff were moved to another site. Employees in his department told their managers it was a bad idea, because these papers were often the last remaining record of a person’s arrival date, in the event of uncertainty or lost documents. The files were destroyed in October that year, when Theresa May was home secretary."

!Home Office staff members have been reluctant to consider alternative records, such as National Insurance contributions, unless they are presented within a dossier of papers proving residency every year for decades. People who have been classified as being in the UK illegally are often unable to put together the evidence, and cannot afford legal assistance."

Great eh? The very people judging these cases destroy critical evidence.
The National Archives holds incoming ship passenger lists up to 1960, although they're Board of Trade rather than Home Office records. The Guardian story is somewhat contradictory, as it talks about both physical cards and a "database." Regardless of that, it raises serious questions as not only as to why the records were destroyed by the Home Office, but also why they were not offered to the National Archives first.
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Old 17th April 2018, 01:38 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
I don't think it's particularly cynical at all. A lot of people do bury their heads in the sand about all sorts of issues, and then act all surprised when it affects them detrimentally. I'm very much reminded of a few of the questionable "examples" trotted out by the media of women who are apparently shocked that they are not approaching retirement age as imminently as they thought, due to well-publicised changes to the age women are entitled to a state pension. I can believe that a lot of people don't pay attention to the news, but they apparently must have also not paid much attention to what was happening with all their female relatives, friends, work colleagues, neighbours, etc. of a similar but slightly older age who were retiring just ahead of them.
You are ill-informed. The retirement age issue is to do with a lack of notice. Government guidelines say there should be fifteen years notice for those affected by a change in legislation. Those women denied their expected retirement had either extremely short notice, or none at all. A work colleague got her state pension aged 60 a couple of years ago. Her cousin, who was just fourteen months younger, has to wait until she is 66 and she was the one with ill health. She insists she had no notice and that it came as a shock, as she had been led to believe for over 30 years she would retire at 62, as one of the 'interim' generation, as they phased it out to 65, as it was then.

So your claim that the 10% of Windrush migrants of the 500K who arrived as children before 1971 who haven't acquired a passport (= i.e., documentation) should have made applications, when a similar percentage of indigenous Brits (6 million!) also have never applied for one, is as unkind as your claim the women who've lost out on their expected state pensions 'didn't pay enough attention'.

Whilst that might be true of a minority it is a logical fallacy of sweeping generalisation to identify carelessness as being the cause of the predicament.
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Old 17th April 2018, 01:46 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
And the new 'hard line' on illegal immigration was introduced on her watch as Home Secretary. Seems nobody told the Home Office that that was going to snag a bunch of people whose only real offence was never getting a passport as a kid and failing to keep detailed personal records from the 60's.

The two people who should have been exercising some control over its implementation are the very two now offering conspicuous public apologies; the two Home Secretaries, Rudd and May.

I'm tempted to suspect that Rudd acted unilaterally here, and May was obliged to follow her lead.
I suspect they thought it would go by unnoticed (not May or Rudd, who likely are as shocked as the rest of us) but faceless officials who decided to take those actions and demand 'four pieces of documentation for each year in the country', going back as many as five to seven decades.

When I think back to my own primary school and grammar school, both have now been razed. Would the average native Brit without a passport be able to produce said documents without some difficulty.


The government does have to take the blame for making landlords, employers and the health service border control police, as it is open to blatant racism. For example, a bigot might report an obvious immigrant descendant who cannot produce a passport but not, say, an Australian or East European.
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Old 18th April 2018, 04:33 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
You are ill-informed. The retirement age issue is to do with a lack of notice. Government guidelines say there should be fifteen years notice for those affected by a change in legislation. Those women denied their expected retirement had either extremely short notice, or none at all.
On the contrary, in the examples I recall, all were talking about changes that have been sign-posted years previously. Some were complaining that they did know that the state pension age for women was changing from 60 at all, even though that decision was taken and widely publicised more than 20 years previously.

Quote:
A work colleague got her state pension aged 60 a couple of years ago. Her cousin, who was just fourteen months younger, has to wait until she is 66 and she was the one with ill health. She insists she had no notice and that it came as a shock, as she had been led to believe for over 30 years she would retire at 62, as one of the 'interim' generation, as they phased it out to 65, as it was then.
You are ill-informed. The first set of proposed changes were decided in 1995, which is obviously 23 years ago, so I'm not sure where you get "more than 30" from. Under the 1995 Act the last women to get a state pension from their 60th birthday were those born on or before 5 April 1950, i.e. by 2010. Under the progressive increases the last to get their state pension at some time whilst aged 60 are those born on or before 5 April 1951. Those who would get it some time whilst aged 62 were those born between 6 April 1952 and 5 March 1953, between 2014 and 2015.

Originally the first women to get their state pension at 65 would be those born on or after 6 April 1955. The 2011 Act accelerated the progressive increase to 65, but only for those women born between 6 April 1953 and 5 December 1953, while for those born between 6 December 1953 and 5 October 1954 it would progressively increase to 66. That means that those who had their pension age change from 60 to some point whilst 62 were not affected at all by the 2011 Act changes.

What that all means is that whilst there was indeed a very narrow window of opportunity for two women separated by only 14 months to end up with state pension ages of 60+ and 62+ respectively, the latter could not possibly now have a state pension age of 66, as you claim. Leaving that impossibility aside, yes it may seem unfair that someone born 14 months later has to wait longer for their state pension, but a) she had about 20 years notice, and b) the change had to happen eventually due to the historic far greater unfairness in the different pension ages for women and men.

As for the 2011 Act changes, whether there should have been 15 years notice or not is open to question, but reality is that those whose 1995 Act pension ages were changed again saw their date pushed back by between only two and 18 months, with at least five years notice.

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So your claim that the 10% of Windrush migrants of the 500K who arrived as children before 1971 who haven't acquired a passport (= i.e., documentation) should have made applications, when a similar percentage of indigenous Brits (6 million!) also have never applied for one, is as unkind as your claim the women who've lost out on their expected state pensions 'didn't pay enough attention'.

Whilst that might be true of a minority it is a logical fallacy of sweeping generalisation to identify carelessness as being the cause of the predicament.
At the last census 9.4 million people in England & Wales had no passport at all, so that's 17%. The affected "Windrush generation" is put at 57,000 so that would suggests around 9,690 would not have any passport, if they matched the national average. But that's beside the point, because we're not just talking about passports, and neither have I suggested that the majority who may not have sought one were motivated by a knowledge or - more importantly - a worry about their status. It just stands to reason that a non-trivial number of them were. Certainly there was one woman interviewed on BBC Breakfast yesterday who said that here first reaction when she got a Home Office letter demanding she leave the country was to put it in a drawer and not tell anyone about it for weeks. That's the epitome of the "head in the sand" attitude I'm talking about.

The irony, of course, is that most of the affected people probably had nothing at all to worry about, and could have effectively proved it decades ago, but now it may not be so easy. That that is now more difficult due to the (yes, scandalous) destruction of Home Office records doesn't alter that.

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Old 18th April 2018, 05:50 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post

The irony, of course, is that most of the affected people probably had nothing at all to worry about, and could have effectively proved it decades ago, but now it may not be so easy. That that is now more difficult due to the (yes, scandalous) destruction of Home Office records doesn't alter that.
Nobody was asking them to. It was Theresa May's introduction of a hard-line attitude in the HO that led to newcomers there adopting a "gotcha" attitude, often to the disgust of established HO immigration staff.

Meanwhile "Home Office claims that the destruction of Windrush-era landing cards in 2010 had no impact on the rights of those individuals to stay in the UK have been dramatically undermined by the evidence of two new whistleblowers. "


Could you provide four documents per year, from 1973 to the present, to prove your residence (wherever that might be)? I was finishing Uni and starting work around that time but I'm damned if I could. My first mortgage in 1981 could be the start year for proving anything, and even then I have no idea how long that little Building Society archives their records, or whether it even still exists.

p.s. you're quite right about the phasing-in of pensionable age changes for women. They were introduced gradually.
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Old 18th April 2018, 05:54 AM   #22
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PM saying in the Commons today that the decision to destroy the landing cards was taken in 2009 - under a Labour Government.

Which I guess is interesting in a political points-scoring sense, but doesn't actually help with resolving the issue.
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Old 18th April 2018, 06:15 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
PM saying in the Commons today that the decision to destroy the landing cards was taken in 2009 - under a Labour Governmentt.

Which I guess is interesting in a political points-scoring sense, but doesn't actually help with resolving the issue.
And of course the incoming Government couldn't alter anything put in place by the previous Government.... I bet Theresa was wailing at her inability to do anything to change the decisions of the previous Labour government. If only we had had a competent Home Secretary in 2010.....
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Old 18th April 2018, 06:18 AM   #24
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There now seem to be general wailing and gnashing of teeth about whether the UK Border Agency took the decision internally, if the Home Secretary (whichever one that was) was involved, and who still has a chair when the music stops.

Still not helping.
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Old 18th April 2018, 06:32 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Nobody was asking them to. It was Theresa May's introduction of a hard-line attitude in the HO that led to newcomers there adopting a "gotcha" attitude, often to the disgust of established HO immigration staff.
I would ertainly not disagree that the May-led Home Office became over-eager to deport on the slightest provocation, essentially going after the low-hanging fruit in an attempt to reduce net migration.

Quote:
Meanwhile "Home Office claims that the destruction of Windrush-era landing cards in 2010 had no impact on the rights of those individuals to stay in the UK have been dramatically undermined by the evidence of two new whistleblowers. "


Could you provide four documents per year, from 1973 to the present, to prove your residence (wherever that might be)? I was finishing Uni and starting work around that time but I'm damned if I could. My first mortgage in 1981 could be the start year for proving anything, and even then I have no idea how long that little Building Society archives their records, or whether it even still exists.
Well, I was 6 for most of 1973, but I can certainly produce all my school reports between 1975 and 1983, various examination certificates, all my bank statements from 1984 onwards, and all my pay slips from early 1988 onwards. I also have an NI record going back to 1983, starting with academic credits. Then again, I can also produce my UK birth certificate, so that would all be moot.
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Old 18th April 2018, 06:54 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
There now seem to be general wailing and gnashing of teeth about whether the UK Border Agency took the decision internally, if the Home Secretary (whichever one that was) was involved, and who still has a chair when the music stops.

Still not helping.
Somebody certainly has to explain why the landing cards were destroyed when they still had obvious utility. Certainly my own experience with legacy card indexes for NHS GP patients was that they were only disposed of once the useable information was available electronically, either locally or from the Central Register in Southport.
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Old 18th April 2018, 07:20 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Worm View Post
PM saying in the Commons today that the decision to destroy the landing cards was taken in 2009 - under a Labour Government.

Which I guess is interesting in a political points-scoring sense, but doesn't actually help with resolving the issue.


"Downing Street has admitted that the last Labour government had nothing to do with it: the decision was signed off by officials at the Border Agency, not ministers of any hue. Their destruction was, in any case, implemented under the Conservative government of Theresa May."

https://www.newstatesman.com/politic...lie-parliament
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Old 18th April 2018, 07:24 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Well, I was 6 for most of 1973, but I can certainly produce all my school reports between 1975 and 1983, various examination certificates, all my bank statements from 1984 onwards, and all my pay slips from early 1988 onwards. I also have an NI record going back to 1983, starting with academic credits. Then again, I can also produce my UK birth certificate, so that would all be moot.
OK, keep that exact life history except that now you're the child of immigrants from Barbados and lack the UK birth certificate. You have no proof of residency from Jan 1st 1973 until the first school report (presumably winter 1975?). On my reading of the legislation you fail the test. (And we've already mentioned a case where school records that could have proved residency had gone awol years before. I also suggest you're exceptional in keeping all yours, not to mention all your ancient payslips and bank statements)

But it isn't just the embarkation card issue that's a scandal, it's the whole approach.

"The Home Office has put the onus on the individual to provide evidence.

It has not been using central tax and pension records, which could prove someone has been working, to support people's applications. Instead, the current system relies on people having kept their own documentation including payslips and bank statements. "
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Old 18th April 2018, 07:40 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
OK, keep that exact life history except that now you're the child of immigrants from Barbados and lack the UK birth certificate. You have no proof of residency from Jan 1st 1973 until the first school report (presumably winter 1975?). On my reading of the legislation you fail the test. (And we've already mentioned a case where school records that could have proved residency had gone awol years before. I also suggest you're exceptional in keeping all yours, not to mention all your ancient payslips and bank statements)
Well, I would hazard a guess that even the 1973 arrival could cite their NHS records, which would include their earlier format NHS number, which would be year-specific in its allocation. Most people's GP records will still exist in their entirety, so that should suffice for childhood years.

That said, I would be interested to know the exact wording of the legislation as regards what documentation is required. It would not surprise me if it was not as specific as regards what documentation is required, as opposed to whatever the guidelines interpreting the legislation say.

Quote:
But it isn't just the embarkation card issue that's a scandal, it's the whole approach.

"The Home Office has put the onus on the individual to provide evidence.

It has not been using central tax and pension records, which could prove someone has been working, to support people's applications. Instead, the current system relies on people having kept their own documentation including payslips and bank statements. "
I believe individuals can access them, certainly the NI summary is trivially easy to order, and in fact I did it myself a year or so back. If people have been deported for want of those records, then clearly they have been very badly advised. If the Home Office did not indicate they would be acceptable, that would certainly be an gross omission on their part.

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Old 18th April 2018, 09:50 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
"Downing Street has admitted that the last Labour government had nothing to do with it: the decision was signed off by officials at the Border Agency, not ministers of any hue. Their destruction was, in any case, implemented under the Conservative government of Theresa May."

https://www.newstatesman.com/politic...lie-parliament
"The decision to destroy the cards in 2009 was an act of cultural and historical vandalism: they should be in a museum or an archive, at least in a digital form."

As I said, it's surprising they weren't offered to the National Archives, given that equivalent records from an earlier era have been.
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Old 18th April 2018, 09:51 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Most people's GP records will still exist in their entirety, so that should suffice for childhood years.
You have to be joking. My first GP was in the wilds of Docklands (when they were docks) and there's no way those records still exist. My next one was a small practice in Brixton and it's thousands to one against their still existing and/or their still holding my records. My Uni records were also paper, so no chance.
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Old 18th April 2018, 09:53 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
"Downing Street has admitted that the last Labour government had nothing to do with it: the decision was signed off by officials at the Border Agency, not ministers of any hue. Their destruction was, in any case, implemented under the Conservative government of Theresa May."

https://www.newstatesman.com/politic...lie-parliament
And May dodged a bullet at PMQs by, effectively, blaming it on the Labour Home Secs. of 2009. What a shameless bitch.
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Old 18th April 2018, 09:58 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
You have to be joking. My first GP was in the wilds of Docklands (when they were docks) and there's no way those records still exist. My next one was a small practice in Brixton and it's thousands to one against their still existing and/or their still holding my records.
GP records are a central resource, nominally owned by the Secretary of State for Health - they are not the property of any one practice. When you moved from the Docklands practice to the Brixton one, your records would have followed you as a matter of absolute routine. When I worked in GP registrations from the late-1980s it was not uncommon to see record envelopes that dated from pre-NHS insurance committee days - they're not called "Lloyd-George envelopes" for nothing. It was also not uncommon to see records comprising three or four gusseted envelopes, as many inches thick, all stapled and bandied together, because they contained all the GP records that patient had ever generated, including hospital treatment summary letters.

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Old 18th April 2018, 10:44 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Nobody was asking them to. It was Theresa May's introduction of a hard-line attitude in the HO that led to newcomers there adopting a "gotcha" attitude, often to the disgust of established HO immigration staff.

Meanwhile "Home Office claims that the destruction of Windrush-era landing cards in 2010 had no impact on the rights of those individuals to stay in the UK have been dramatically undermined by the evidence of two new whistleblowers. "


Could you provide four documents per year, from 1973 to the present, to prove your residence (wherever that might be)? I was finishing Uni and starting work around that time but I'm damned if I could. My first mortgage in 1981 could be the start year for proving anything, and even then I have no idea how long that little Building Society archives their records, or whether it even still exists.

p.s. you're quite right about the phasing-in of pensionable age changes for women. They were introduced gradually.
Pensions have been a live topic for years and changes in retirement age were introduced gradually, but that is not what people are complaining about. Today's 35-year olds have been given 39 years' notice they will retire at 74. So, yes, anyone not making note at age 35 today has only him or herself to blame in that scenario for not being prepared.

Most people of course do have documentation, but imagine the scenario where you don't. I had a glimpse of this netherworld when a woman crossed my path who had a 'giro' and was wailing it was no use to her. She was told to take it to the Post Office with ID and she replied, 'I ain't got a passport or ID'. I remember being gobsmacked, but that is the reality for many of the lower strata of society, a large number of whom do not even have a bank account.
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Old 18th April 2018, 10:55 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
On the contrary, in the examples I recall, all were talking about changes that have been sign-posted years previously. Some were complaining that they did know that the state pension age for women was changing from 60 at all, even though that decision was taken and widely publicised more than 20 years previously.


You are ill-informed. The first set of proposed changes were decided in 1995, which is obviously 23 years ago, so I'm not sure where you get "more than 30" from. Under the 1995 Act the last women to get a state pension from their 60th birthday were those born on or before 5 April 1950, i.e. by 2010. Under the progressive increases the last to get their state pension at some time whilst aged 60 are those born on or before 5 April 1951. Those who would get it some time whilst aged 62 were those born between 6 April 1952 and 5 March 1953, between 2014 and 2015.

Originally the first women to get their state pension at 65 would be those born on or after 6 April 1955. The 2011 Act accelerated the progressive increase to 65, but only for those women born between 6 April 1953 and 5 December 1953, while for those born between 6 December 1953 and 5 October 1954 it would progressively increase to 66. That means that those who had their pension age change from 60 to some point whilst 62 were not affected at all by the 2011 Act changes.

What that all means is that whilst there was indeed a very narrow window of opportunity for two women separated by only 14 months to end up with state pension ages of 60+ and 62+ respectively, the latter could not possibly now have a state pension age of 66, as you claim. Leaving that impossibility aside, yes it may seem unfair that someone born 14 months later has to wait longer for their state pension, but a) she had about 20 years notice, and b) the change had to happen eventually due to the historic far greater unfairness in the different pension ages for women and men.

As for the 2011 Act changes, whether there should have been 15 years notice or not is open to question, but reality is that those whose 1995 Act pension ages were changed again saw their date pushed back by between only two and 18 months, with at least five years notice.



At the last census 9.4 million people in England & Wales had no passport at all, so that's 17%. The affected "Windrush generation" is put at 57,000 so that would suggests around 9,690 would not have any passport, if they matched the national average. But that's beside the point, because we're not just talking about passports, and neither have I suggested that the majority who may not have sought one were motivated by a knowledge or - more importantly - a worry about their status. It just stands to reason that a non-trivial number of them were. Certainly there was one woman interviewed on BBC Breakfast yesterday who said that here first reaction when she got a Home Office letter demanding she leave the country was to put it in a drawer and not tell anyone about it for weeks. That's the epitome of the "head in the sand" attitude I'm talking about.

The irony, of course, is that most of the affected people probably had nothing at all to worry about, and could have effectively proved it decades ago, but now it may not be so easy. That that is now more difficult due to the (yes, scandalous) destruction of Home Office records doesn't alter that.
Many MP's in particular the SNP would not agree with you that the pensions issue affecting some women is just a case of 'hard luck for not paying attention' and the question has come up in parliament, so we shall have to agree to differ on that matter.

AIUI there are 500K 'Windrush' migrants affected, specifically, those who arrived as children on their parents' passports, who were given British citizenship as part of the newly formulated Immigration Act of 1971, it includes circa 29K from the India subcontinent and other countries.

The 57K I would have thought consists of those who did not apply for a British passport and so are not documented, which is circa 10%. The phrase 'documented' is not one that is generally known in the UK, it is very much an American term referring to the children of mostly illegal Mexican immigrants.

The vast majority of people apply for a passport when they need to go abroad. It's not going to cross anybody's mind, whose parents are British and who arrived as a young child on their passports, and have been through the standard education system, got NI numbers, jobs, paid taxes and pension contributions to 'psst, get documented'.

Why would they? <shrug>

The woman on tv who said she put her letter from the Home Office in a drawer, if it was the same one I saw, wasn't 'hiding her head in the sand', she said she was so shocked, she was too ashamed to even mention it to her daughter.

That's different from disregarding a bill in the hope it will go away.
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Old 18th April 2018, 11:15 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Nobody was asking them to. It was Theresa May's introduction of a hard-line attitude in the HO that led to newcomers there adopting a "gotcha" attitude, often to the disgust of established HO immigration staff.

Meanwhile "Home Office claims that the destruction of Windrush-era landing cards in 2010 had no impact on the rights of those individuals to stay in the UK have been dramatically undermined by the evidence of two new whistleblowers. "


Could you provide four documents per year, from 1973 to the present, to prove your residence (wherever that might be)? I was finishing Uni and starting work around that time but I'm damned if I could. My first mortgage in 1981 could be the start year for proving anything, and even then I have no idea how long that little Building Society archives their records, or whether it even still exists.

p.s. you're quite right about the phasing-in of pensionable age changes for women. They were introduced gradually.

I have done lots of fascinating research at the National Archives and I am surprised the landing cards, or passenger list were not transferred there. This is part of our national heritage and history. It has nothing at all to do with the Data Protection Act as keeping a list does not contravene that Act (cf unlike the USA privacy laws). Someone having your name on a card isn't breaking the law. The DPA argument sounds like a knee jerk counter-debate by someone trying to justify it off the top off their heads.


Well, I actually spent the first three years off my life in a far northern country on my grandparents' farm. My father dragged me back to England, having the dominant legal parental rights, and I arrived back not speaking a word of English. Black mark straight away.

My first school in Hampton Wick was razed to the ground last time I drove past it, but I do have a school photo (which actually could be from anywhere). Another blot.

1920's-built grammar school demolished. Cross.

Exam certificates: don't count as even the affected Windrush migrants have some of those. Cross.

10-yard swimming certificate? Cross.

Brownies badge? Cross.

Girl guides badge? Cross.

Oh dear, it doesn't augur well.
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Old 18th April 2018, 11:35 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Well, I would hazard a guess that even the 1973 arrival could cite their NHS records, which would include their earlier format NHS number, which would be year-specific in its allocation. Most people's GP records will still exist in their entirety, so that should suffice for childhood years.

That said, I would be interested to know the exact wording of the legislation as regards what documentation is required. It would not surprise me if it was not as specific as regards what documentation is required, as opposed to whatever the guidelines interpreting the legislation say.



I believe individuals can access them, certainly the NI summary is trivially easy to order, and in fact I did it myself a year or so back. If people have been deported for want of those records, then clearly they have been very badly advised. If the Home Office did not indicate they would be acceptable, that would certainly be an gross omission on their part.
The requirement is for each and every year starting from before 1971 and all the way up to now. Someone who was a young child then, may not remember who their GP was, and if a healthy young sap, may never have seen the doctor for years anyway.

It might be easy enough to produce school reports and exam certificates, but that wouldn't cover every year for most people. Things get lost through moving home, decluttering, etc.

I have a few old school exercise books, but not all of them. My parents collected school reports, many do not.

It sounds really onerous. Someone aged 60 would have to produce some 200 bits of 'documentation', four for each year, photocopy them, just in case, and even then, get rejected.
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Old 18th April 2018, 11:38 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
"The decision to destroy the cards in 2009 was an act of cultural and historical vandalism: they should be in a museum or an archive, at least in a digital form."

As I said, it's surprising they weren't offered to the National Archives, given that equivalent records from an earlier era have been.
Quite. People can go to the British Library and look through electoral registers going back decades.
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Old 18th April 2018, 11:42 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
GP records are a central resource, nominally owned by the Secretary of State for Health - they are not the property of any one practice. When you moved from the Docklands practice to the Brixton one, your records would have followed you as a matter of absolute routine. When I worked in GP registrations from the late-1980s it was not uncommon to see record envelopes that dated from pre-NHS insurance committee days - they're not called "Lloyd-George envelopes" for nothing. It was also not uncommon to see records comprising three or four gusseted envelopes, as many inches thick, all stapled and bandied together, because they contained all the GP records that patient had ever generated, including hospital treatment summary letters.
You have the right to see your medical records these days. However, most GP's will charge you if you want a photocopy of something.

If you are low income, having lost your job, home and benefits, the cost of obtaining 50 years' worth could be all too much. There might still be gaps in years.
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Old 18th April 2018, 12:07 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Many MP's in particular the SNP would not agree with you that the pensions issue affecting some women is just a case of 'hard luck for not paying attention' and the question has come up in parliament, so we shall have to agree to differ on that matter.
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AIUI there are 500K 'Windrush' migrants affected, specifically, those who arrived as children on their parents passports, who were given British citizenship as part of the newly formulated Immigration Act of 1971, it includes circa 29K from the India subcontinent and other countries.

The 57K I would have thought consists of those who did not apply for a British passport and so are not documented, which is circa 10%. The phrase 'documented' is not one that is generally known in the UK, it is very much an American term referring to the children of mostly illegal Mexican immigrants.
No, the 57,000 are those who, in the year ending June 2017, self-reported as being a non-UK national, out of the 524,000 Commonwealth migrants who arrived before 1971. As the source states:

"These figures do not represent an estimate of the number of people who are now likely to have difficulty demonstrating their legal status in the UK. The key question in this regard is how many people have documentation that demonstrates their legal status, e.g. an Indefinite Leave to Remain document."

The 57,000 are, therefore, those who never took British nationality, but believe they still have their original nationality. We don't know how many of them have an ILR document, or indeed have a current passport corresponding with their own nationality. However, it has been noted that those most likely to be affected are those who arrived as children on one of their parent's passports, but again we don't known what percentage they comprise of the 57,000, although it is presumably a minority.
Quote:
The vast majority of people apply for a passport when they need to go abroad. It's not going to cross anybody's mind, whose parents are British and who arrived as a young child on their passports, and have been through the standard education system, got NI numbers, jobs, paid taxes and pension contributions to 'psst, get documented'.

Why would they? <shrug>
As noted previously, only 17% of the UK population does not have a passport of any kind. Even allowing for other factors, one would certainly expect more than half of the pre-1971 child migrants to have applied for passports - whether UK or otherwise - in the natural course of events.

It's also not as if nationality status is not more of a topic of conversation in these particular communities in question than in UK-born population as a whole. More to the point, it's not like cases such as these have only suddenly come to light.




The Voice: UK Jamaicans urged to utilise dual nationality status [11/09/2013]

The above specifically mentions the fears some may have of applying for a Jamaica passport due to, "possible fear of their status being reported to the UK Boarder Agency." It also warns that, "“If you have children born here they are not necessary British nationals, so get your children sorted, get their Jamaican citizenship confirmed..."

The Voice: Mother faces deportation after 34 years of living in Britain [07/12/2013]
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