Historic pictures of the Windrush generation show the arrival of hundreds of immigrants who made Britain their home after World War Two

Thousands of people who first arrived in the UK as children with their parents fifty years ago could now be facing deportation – because many of them don't have the right paperwork to 'prove' they are British.

Those who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries were dubbed the Windrush generation – named after the first ship MV Empire Windrush.

It came into Tilbury Docks, Essex on 22 June 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and other islands to Britain.

The first ship carried a total of 492 passengers, many of them young kids.

Around half a million people are resident in the UK who previously lived in a Commonwealth country.

The Home Office didn't keep records of everyone who was granted leave to remain here – or give them paperwork to prove it at the time.

But all came from British colonies and Commonwealth countries at the time.

Many travelled more than 8,000 miles to reach Britain's shores, and it marked the beginning of post-war mass migration.

They were there to assist with labour shortages – and most had fought for the Allies during the war.

By 1958 around 12,5000 workers arrived in Britain from the Caribbean islands.

Many stayed in former air raid shelters in Clapham while they were waiting for their cases to be processed.

They went on to work as posters, cleaners, drivers and nurses, paid their taxes and made Britain their home.

But now their rights to stay are under threat.

Today ministers admitted than a number had been deported "in error" after thousands of children of the immigrants didn't receive the right documents.

In 1971 Commonwealth citizens who were already living in the UK were given the right to remain indefinitely.

But anyone who came in afterwards had to have a work permit, and prove they had a parent of grandparent in the UK.

Theresa May has hurriedly agreed to meet a group of Commonwealth leaders today who previously had a request for talks denied.

The Home Office is set to issue new assurances to the Windrush generation – guaranteeing their rights to live and work in the UK indefinitely.

Windrush generation who are told they're not true Brits

DOZENS of Caribbean-born British citizens say they have been unable to prove they have a right to live in the UK – leading to lost jobs, huge medical bills or even deportation.

One victim is 61-year-old Paulette Wilson, who moved to Britain from Jamaica as a child in 1968 and has lived here ever since.

Last year Paulette, who used to work in Parliament as a cook, was told by the Home Office she must leave the UK and taken to the notorious Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

After a week in custody, she was moved to Heathrow and was about to put on a plane to Jamaica – only to be saved by a last-minute intervention from her local MP, who pointed out there is no evidence she is an illegal immigrant.

Michael Braithwaite, 66, was born in Barbados but has lived in Britain since he was nine years old.

He worked as a teaching assistant in North London for 15 years, only to be told recently that he was being sacked because he can’t prove he has a legal right to stay in the country.

The Home Office has so far refused to confirm his right to live and work in the UK, making it impossible for him to get another job.

Hubert Howard, 61, has had trouble with the authorities for more than a decade because he was unable to prove his exact residence history.

He was just three when his family moved from Jamaica – but because he never filled out the right form, he’s never been granted the British passport he is eligible for.

As well as losing his job and benefits, Hubert couldn’t travel to Jamaica to be with his ill mother before she died.

The climbdown comes after several Brits of Caribbean origin described how they had lost their jobs, been denied NHS treatment or been threatened with deportation – even though they are UK citizens.

In a sign they are keen to defuse the crisis, the Home Office today announced they will set up a special unit to help members of the Windrush generation who are worried about the rights.

Immigration minister Caroline Nokes said: “We’re going to work within the Home Office to make sure we have a dedicated contact line and dedicated caseworkers.”

Senior MPs including Labour's David Lammy and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid have spoken out at the unfair treatment and demanded action fast.

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