Some immigrants known as the Windrush generation, who have been living in the UK for decades, are now being denied citizenship because they lack the proper documentation proving they lived in the UK before 1973.
Seventy years ago, when the UK was recovering from World War II, Britain put out ads in Caribbean countries under its control, hoping to attract people to help rebuild the country. In 1948, 492 West Indians—as British subjects—boarded the vessel Empire Windrush, attracted by a promise of more stable work. They ushered in the Windrush generation—a generation of black and brown people from British Commonwealth nations that were invited to come work in the UK until 1971, only to face harassment, bullying, and racism when they arrived. According to Oxford University’s Migration Observatory, there are an estimated 500,000 people in the Windrush generation.