Downing Street rejects request to discuss Windrush generation's immigration problems

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Downing Street has rejected a diplomatic request to discuss the immigration challenges being faced by some Windrush-generation British residents.

As previously reported by The National, changes to the United Kingdom immigration system has meant that tens of thousands of people who moved to the country between 1948 and 1971 could be deemed to be illegally resident in the country and may even face deportation to their "home" nations - some of which the people have not returned to since they made their homes in Britain.

Changes to the regulations introduced in 2012 aimed at stopping overstaying affected their legal status - meaning that despite living, working and paying tax in Britain for decades, they were now at risk.

On Friday, the Home Office issued guidance admitting that problems were coming to the fore because of newly tightened immigration rules, noting: "Recent changes to the law mean that if you wish to work, rent property or have access to benefits and services in the United Kingdom then you will need documents to demonstrate your right to be in the UK".

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has described the denial of their rights and the deportations as "disgraceful".

Many British residents who came from the Caribbean with their parents as part of a post-war rebuilding effort have been threatened with deportation following a tightening of the immigration rules.

Nearly half a million people left their homes in the West Indies to live in Britain between 1948 and 1970, according to Britain's National Archives.

Guy Hewitt, the Barbados high commissioner, said leaders had sought a meeting with Theresa May but were told it was not possible.

Number 10 turned down a request for the Prime Minister to meet with a representative of 12 Caribbean nations. Admitting some "horrendous situations", immigration minister Caroline Nokes told BBC Radio the government had "an absolute responsibility to make sure there are no more of these mistakes".

A Home Office official said the rejection was because the subject of the meeting was not clear.

That act enshrined the right for Commonwealth citizens to have indefinite leave to remain in Britain - but those who had come over before that date often do not now have the paperwork to prove that they were legally allowed to live there.