What is Windrush Day, when is it and who are the Windrush generation?
18 June 2020, 15:46
Windrush Day falls on June 22, and honours the British Caribbean community.
Since 2018, the UK has celebrated Windrush Day on June 22.
Windrush Day honours the British Caribbean community, and celebrates those people who came to the UK from the late 1940s and onwards to help rebuild the country after the Second World War.
Here's everything you need to know:
What is Windrush Day and when is it?
Windrush Day is on June 22.
The day has been created in tribute to the people from the Caribbean who traveled to Britain to help rebuild it after the Second World War.
Seventy-two years ago, a ship called the Empire Windrush London docked in England, carrying 600 hundred people who were invited to move to Britain following WW2.
However, when they arrived in the UK, they suffered extreme prejudice and racism.
What is the Windrush Generation?
The Windrush Generation are those half a million people who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971 for work and to help rebuild Britain.
The name Windrush comes from the name of the first ship that transported people to Britain, the Empire Windrush London.
At this time, in 1948, all Commonwealth citizens were British citizens and by 1971, the Immigration Act gave all Commonwealth citizens the right to remain in the UK.
However, the Home Office failed to issue people with paperwork, and did not keep a record of the people who stayed in the UK.
In 2012, the Government put into place the Hostile Environment policy, which made life very difficult for the Windrush generation.
The policy meant that without proper ID checks, people could not access the NHS, sign contracts with landlords, or banks – even though they were British citizens.
In 2013, people from the generation received letters telling them they had no right to be in the UK, and subsequently meant people lost their jobs, their homes and access to the NHS, while others were placed in immigration detention or deported.
In order to prove they were living in the UK legally – which they were – the generation had to provide one document from each year they have been in Britain.
For many, who were just children when they came to the country, this was an impossible feat.
After 140 MPs urged Theresa May to change the policies, the Government made a U-turn.
Theresa May apologised to the leaders of the Commonwealth, and the Immigration Minister, Caroline Nokes admitted terrible mistakes had been made.