April 20, 2018 / 6:56 PM / a year ago

UK PM May says will consider compensating affected Windrush migrants

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May waits to greet heads of state as they arrive for a working session at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will consider compensating members of the “Windrush generation” of post-War Caribbean immigrants who may have suffered after being wrongly labeled as illegal entrants, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday.

Thousands of workers from the Caribbean were invited to Britain to plug labor shortfalls between 1948 and 1971, but some of their descendants have been caught up in a tightening of immigration rules.

In some cases they have been denied health services, prevented from working or even threatened with deportation

“The UK will do whatever it takes, including where appropriate payment of compensation, to resolve the anxieties and problems which some of the Windrush generation have suffered,” May said in a speech to Commonwealth leaders.

“These people are British, they are part of us, they helped to build Britain and we are all the stronger for their contributions,” she added.

Britain has already voiced regret in a letter to the 12 countries involved, the first of whose workers arrived in 1948 on the “Empire Windrush” ship from Jamaica.

Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; editing by Stephen Addison

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