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In 2010 the government destroyed records of landing cards from Windrush generation

(24 Posts)
TrollHunterGeneral Tue 17-Apr-18 15:13:25

Just wow

I'd like to think this, will be delt with seriously. But it will probably get brushed under a carpet with a long long investigation.

TrollHunterGeneral Tue 17-Apr-18 15:16:13

Sorry not sure what happened to the title!

TrollHunterGeneral Tue 17-Apr-18 19:36:14


JustGiveMeTwoMinutes Tue 17-Apr-18 19:42:37

That just makes me want to cry. It's cavalier and heartless :-(

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 17-Apr-18 21:12:49

We've been talking about it in a couple of threads, but you are absolutely right to shout this from the roof tops.

ginandbearit Wed 18-Apr-18 08:29:12

This is just so jaw droppingly bad from start to finish ...I wish In the Thick of It was still on ..and covering this ...oh to be a fly on the wall in Whitehall !

BMW6 Wed 18-Apr-18 13:46:42

So is it true that the decision to destroy the landing cards were taken by a Labour government in 2009?

TrollHunterGeneral Wed 18-Apr-18 16:55:03

no idea BMW6 I posted what I read yesterday, I've not had chance to catch up on any news since.

But whoevers gave the first orders and those that followed on with the orders, (thinking it's was such a good idea) need to be brought forward.

StarbucksSmarterSister Wed 18-Apr-18 23:03:33

They said on the news tonight that the original decision was made by the Border Agency, not by Labour Ministers. Obviously that must mean the Tory government must have agreed to take it forward.

prh47bridge Thu 19-Apr-18 12:06:05

Obviously that must mean the Tory government must have agreed to take it forward

It means no such thing. The decision would have been taken within the Border Agency by relatively low level officials. I would be very surprised if a decision like this went anywhere near a minister (Labour or Conservative).

StarbucksSmarterSister Thu 19-Apr-18 13:12:57

Really? I thought something like that would have to be approved by Ministers.

What a mess.

cdtaylornats Fri 20-Apr-18 08:34:54

Starbucks - you think a minister gets asked when 60 year old records get scheduled for deletion, then asked again when ministers change? Nothing would ever get done.

In any workplace records have a life. Some records are protected by statute. These were 60 year old boarding cards that may never have been looked at since being stored - why not destroy them as a matter of course?

Someone who needs these to prove they are in the UK legally must never have interacted with government at all.

StarbucksSmarterSister Fri 20-Apr-18 13:35:30

CDtaylor, I used to work in Whitehall (admittedly years ago) and when there was talking of getting rid of records, decisions were rarely taken at low level as has been suggested was the case here, even if they didn’t all go to Ministers. Bearing in mind how important an issue immigration is (and was in 2010) I would have expected someone senior to make/review the decision. You apparently aren’t aware that former employees have said that the boarding cards were indeed checked regularly when trying to resolve someone’s immigration status. If they'd never been looked at, then of course that would be a different matter.

As far as Someone who needs these to prove they are in the UK legally must never have interacted with government at all I don’t think that is true. Most of the cases that have been highlighted recently are of people who came here as children on their parents' passports. They have worked since leaving school, have records of employment, tax and NI, even mortgages but that still doesn’t necessarily prove now they have the right to remain since the rules have changed.

Hopefully a situation will be found for those who have been affected but are actually here legally, especially those few who have actually lost their jobs or even their homes.

prh47bridge Fri 20-Apr-18 13:49:23

See Alan Johnson's interview today. He describes this as an administrative decision taken by UKBA officials. He is clear that he was unaware of the decision and that Theresa May would similarly have been unaware.

NotABeliever Sat 21-Apr-18 07:39:43

Genuine question: why isn't May being forced to resign over this? PMs have been booted out for much less

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 21-Apr-18 07:47:03

Brexit innit.

prh47bridge Sat 21-Apr-18 08:08:19

why isn't May being forced to resign over this

I am surprised you think the PM might be forced to resign. It is not clear what she has done that would be a resigning matter. The decision to destroy the landing cards was taken under Alan Johnson, although he would not have been aware of it. But, even if there was a case on the wider issue (on which I am not convinced), the short answer is Corbyn. He had an open goal to go for in PMQs and failed to score.

juneau Sat 21-Apr-18 11:44:15

I don't think TM should be made to resign unless the landing cards were destroyed at her instigation, and it now appears that they were disposed of in 2009, under the Labour govt, not in 2010 under the Conservatives.

I do think though that this whole debate has got out of hand. It's an excellent idea to put the responsibility for providing paperwork onto the various agencies of govt - NHS, local councils, HMRC, etc - who surely have health, housing and tax records for the vast majority of these people. No one can live in a country for 40, 50 or 60 years without having contact with these agencies.

However, I do think that blaming the govt for everything is ridiculous. As a person living in any country you are responsible for ensuring that your paperwork - whatever it is - is in order. If you are living in a country other than the one you were born in this is particularly important. An article in the Guardian today { quoted a guy from the Windrush generation, who said:

“I did my papers straightaway in 1972 as soon as you could after 10 years but some people ignored it."

And he's right - after 10 years you have a right to ILR and you should claim it. But blaming the govt because you never bothered to regularise your status is naive and dangerously passive. Laws change all the time. Immigration laws, in particular, change regularly and the conditions never become less rigorous, only more. So don't blame others because you never bothered to claim the rights you were entitled to. Sort out your paperwork in a timely manner and make sure that your rights are being acknowledged.

Heyduggeesflipflop Sat 21-Apr-18 11:48:28

This whole issue - of genuine concern as it is - has been deliberately politicised by the Labour Party as their way of trying to spread the love over their recent anti semitism bad press

kikashi Sat 21-Apr-18 16:09:01

Thousands of cards have been found in the National Archives:

BothersomeCrow Tue 24-Apr-18 20:20:29

The original ship manifests for many years should be in the NA, too.

BigChocFrenzy Wed 25-Apr-18 00:07:04

They were British citizens when they came as children, so many of them didn't realise the citizenship rules had changed in the 1970s.
Many people, not just Windrush, are getting on with their lives, not staying up to date with current affairs & legal rights

They no more thought of getting their position "regularised" than any other British citizen would.

The 1999 Immigration Act put protections in place for the Windrush generation.
The decision to destroy the paper-based records was made in 2009, under the (naive) assumption that this protection would continue in perpetuity and the records would never be needed.

In 2014, Theresa May abolished the protections of the 1999 Act as part of her 2014 Immigration Act.

Since then, some have lost jobs;
some have lost council homes where they have lived for decades and been made homeless:

some have been refused NHS care, including at least one elderly man refused cancer treatment last year - but a vigorous public campaign has just reversed that decision:

BigChocFrenzy Wed 25-Apr-18 00:09:54

Thankfully, it looks like the govt have accepted they need to take action and they will confirm the rights of citizenship that the Windrush generations have.

OlennasWimple Wed 25-Apr-18 00:16:43

I'm so glad that the (right) decision has been made to confirm the rights that the Windrush generation have, with minimal input needed from the individuals (government is going to talk to itself to work out the HMRC, NHS, DVLA records they all have) and with no application fee needed.

cdtaylornats is correct, IME, that this will have been a decision taken by a relatively junior official. No submission will have gone up to a minister to say "shall we get rid?" or "shall we digitise these bits of paper?"

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