For over 3 million Europeans living in the UK, worries never end. Despite the Government’s reassurances about a peaceful future for EU citizens who have settled in the country, uncertainty and anxiety have returned to peep after it emerged that about 50 thousand immigrants from the Commonwealth landed in the United Kingdom between 1948 and 1971 are at risk of deportation. In other words, people who have arrived in the country in perfect good faith with job offers and have spent a life on the island and today are going through the third and fourth ages, have found themselves stateless and unwanted after it has emerged that the Home Office , the Ministry of the Interior, destroyed their landing cards in 2010, erasing the evidence of their past in the absence of other identity documents. The scandal emerged after some Britons of Jamaican descent were denied health care (with deplorable cases such as a terminal cancer patient) because they are not UK citizens or returning to Britain for those who had gone temporarily abroad because they did not provided with valid citizenship documents. In short, for thousands of elderly people who thought they were enjoying a well-deserved retirement in their second homeland, a nightmare scenario opened up.
After a period of visible embarrassment, the Government has run for cover, promising to guarantee citizenship to all representatives of the Windrush generation , the generation that took its name from the ship that landed the first group of Caribbean immigrants in 1948. They had obtained by law in 1971 the right to settle permanently in the country but they were not given a documentation that proved their right. Thus, when in 2012 the Government (with Teresa May Minister of the Interior) passed the law that anyone seeking work or wishing to enjoy the rights of citizenship had to show the necessary documentation, the hell opened up in the lives of many. The amnesty seemed to have solved the imbroglio, until it emerged that the Government wanted to knowingly get rid of thousands of people. In fact, the Home Office had established annual target quotas for deportation of people with non-compliant documents. So much so that an internal memo of the ministry boasted the successful deportation of over 1,500 people in 2015/16 compared to a target of 1,200. For 2016/17 the target rose to 12,800. The most cynical thought that the conservative government, aware of the situation, had set a trap to the Windrush generation, first depriving it of an identity in 2010 and then expelling it with the cruelty that is exercised on the weakest. The media has longed to cease the interior minister in charge, Amber Rudd, who, after having denied such internal documents, had to admit its existence, but apologized for not being aware of it. A highly embarrassing and unpleasant situation because the Rudd, according to many, was to act as a human shield to Prime Minister May who sat in his place in the Interior when the crackdown on immigration had been architected.
Moral of the story: at best the conservative government comes out with an image of incompetence and cynicism that does not make a game right now. Within three years the Government will have to find a practical solution to the problems of the over 3 million Europeans residing on the island and who expect as promised that their rights of residence will be honored. After the pasticciaccio of 50 thousand of the Commonwealth what are the guarantees that the Government will be able to quickly process over 3 million Europeans to give them the right of residence? Considering that whoever asks for the Permanent Residence certificate today must undergo a long month ordeal in which he must provide documentary evidence of his stay. What pandemonium will arise if the same rule were applied to millions of people? Does the Government have the resources to perform? In short, after the accident of the Windrush generation the degree of trust of foreigners residing with British institutions is at the minimum.