The “hostile environment” that puts grandparents behind bars

Media Diversified

The dehumanising treatment of the Windrush generation by the Home Office needs to be challenged, writes Marcus Stow

Racist graffiti, 1960s. Photo courtesy of Black Cultural Archives.

What would you say if I told you of a state that retrospectively enacts policies that demand grandparents who have lived there for decades prove their identity, or face the threat of deportation or imprisonment? Am I talking about dystopian fiction? Some fascist regime from the distant past, perhaps?

Wrong and wrong again. This is modern Britain. Although perhaps it helps to add the context that we’re talking about African and Caribbean senior citizens. Not so surprising now?

In recent months there have been a disturbing number of cases of African and Caribbean elders being treated appallingly by the home office and benefits agencies. Many of these people arrived in the UK as British citizens when there was free movement from Commonwealth countries. Most…

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