Windrush scandal result of UK's '30 years of racist immigration laws': Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
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The origins of the Windrush scandal are rooted in 30 years of racist immigration legislation that was designed to reduce the number of non-white people living in the UK, according to a leaked government report.

The Windrush scandal was caused by decades of racist policies perpetuated by the government, a leaked British Home Office report has revealed.

“During the period 1950-1981, every single piece of immigration or citizenship legislation was designed at least in part to reduce the number of people with black or brown skin who were permitted to live and work in the UK,” the report states.

The Windrush scandal (named after the vessel that brought the first group of West Indian migrants to the UK) grabbed headlines in 2018 when it was discovered that many Commonwealth citizens had been unlawfully detained, deported, and denied legal rights.

Members of the so-called Windrush generation, who had arrived in the UK from the Caribbean between 1948 and 1973 as children on their parents' passports, faced racial discrimination spanning successive governments over several decades.

The damning 52-page report cited by British media on Sunday, which describes how “the British Empire depended on racist ideology” reaches the conclusion that institutionalized racism had left a damaging effect on the laws passed by the British parliament, resulting in inequality and unfair treatment of the children of the West Indies migrants whose parents were transferred to the UK to work in the labor sector.

The report concludes that the origins of the “deep-rooted racism of the Windrush scandal” lie in the fact that “during the period 1950-1981, every single piece of immigration or citizenship legislation was designed at least in part to reduce the number of people with black or brown skin who were permitted to live and work in the UK”.

It reveals that the scandal was caused by a failure to recognize that changes to British immigration law over the past 70 years had a more negative impact on black people than on other racial and ethnic groups.

“As a result, the experiences of Britain’s black communities of the Home Office, of the law, and of life in the UK have been fundamentally different from those of white communities,” the report notes.

“Major immigration legislation in 1962, 1968, and 1971 was designed to reduce the proportion of people living in the United Kingdom who did not have white skin.”

The leaked report, which cites proof of existing deep-rooted racism in the UK government system, had been repeatedly stopped by the officials over the past year, according to British media.


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