Tories treatment of the Windrush generation is a disgrace

How can Amber Rudd carry on as Home Secretary? The Tories’ treatment of the Windrush generation is a disgrace. The UK invited thousands to come here after the war and help rebuild the United Kingdom. They did exactly that – working in the NHS and public services and contributing so much to our economy and society.

Now, after decades of living, working, contributing to the country, the UK Government have been threatening them with deportation and detention.

It’s utterly disgusting.

Theresa May’s policy of creating a “hostile environment” has put many of the Windrush generation families in an impossible situation.

While they have every legal right to be here – the Home Office didn’t keep a record of that. Unbelievably, Westminster destroyed the landing cards belonging to Windrush migrants.

So as a result of utter bureaucratic incompetence, Windrush residents have been losing their jobs, struggled to access the NHS and refused re-entry to the UK after going abroad. Some have been threatened, detained and removed from the UK.

The blame for this scandal lies squarely at the feet of the Tory Government – and, in particular, the Prime Minister and Rudd, who have created this problem and treated these people so badly.

But Windrush is symptomatic of a wider problem – the toxic hostility that the Tories and Labour have created for migrants in this country.

For decades, both Labour and the Tories have engaged in a battle over who can be “toughest” on immigration – using xenophobic rhetoric borrowed from UKIP and the BNP, and developing policies that are borderline racist.

Under the Tories, we’ve had May’s “Go Home” vans, proposals for a list of foreign workers and an arbitrary target to reduce immigration.

Under Labour, we’ve had calls for “British Jobs for British Workers”, party merchandise that pledged controls on immigration and now they have rejected the free movement of people that gives UK and EU citizens the freedom to live, work and study across Europe, and benefits Scotland’s economy hugely.

The SNP have been the only major party to consistently reject this approach.

Instead of arguing against immigration, we have strongly advocated the huge benefits it has for our economy and society.

Scotland benefits from immigration – and now with our demographic and population challenges, it is vital to our economic prosperity.

If we want to avoid another Windrush scandal, it is high time that the Tories and Labour ditched their toxic cruel hostility to migrants and instead backed the SNP’s progressive alternative.