By Barton campaigner Chaka Artwell

If Parliament, using the ‘hostile environment policy’ of 2014, can make stateless, and then forcibly exile, 57 British born people, characterised as part of the ‘Windrush Generation’, back to the Caribbean, then all English born people of Caribbean heritage must question the security and permanence of their British nationality.

Could English born descendants of the Windrush Generation also be rendered stateless by an extension of Parliament’s hostile environment policy? Could their ability to work, to access a bank account, and to benefit from public services like the NHS, all be cancelled? How can African Caribbean heritage citizens and their descendants have confidence in the security and permanence of their British nationality?

I am English born, of African Caribbean heritage. For many years I have been an active campaigner in local Oxford issues, and I have stood as an Independent candidate several times in Oxford local elections, and twice as a Parliamentary candidate for Oxford East. How can my generation, of English born Caribbean heritage people, explain to our children, nieces, and nephews, why their grandparents have been exiled to the Caribbean?

Despite wholesome apologies from Prime Minister Theresa May, Parliament has voted to continue the hostile environment policy – a policy which, according to the Prime Minister, has significant public support as a mechanism for reducing migration. There should be a public inquiry seeking to determine how Parliament could sanction this hostile environment policy which has rendered British subjects stateless.

The treatment of the Windrush Generation has had a revolutionary impact on me, shaking my confidence in my English identity. How can any thinking person of African Caribbean heritage feel secure with their British status, especially now that Parliament will continue the hostile environment policy? If the values on which Parliament is built can so easily make British subjects stateless, then Parliament could easily conjure an extension to the hostile environment policy which would render me, and other descendants of the Windrush Generation, stateless, and subsequently exile us from England.

The Prime Minister of Jamaica, whilst visiting London for the Commonwealth meeting this year, addressed a large gathering of people of Jamaican heritage. He said that Jamaica would be pleased to offer citizenship to English people born from Jamaican parents.

Because of the callous and unjust way in which the Windrush Generation have been treated, for the first time in my life I am seriously considering seeking Caribbean citizenship, just in case my Parliament extends the hostile environment policy and makes stateless and exiles the children of the Windrush Generation.

It is conceivable with Parliament’s continuation of the hostile environment policy, I could find myself exiled from the England of my birth.