The Bond girl, 44, took to her Instagram on Tuesday and paid tribute to her grandfather and others from the Windrush generation to mark this years Windrush Day. In the moving tribute, she shared a picture of herself and her granddad and slammed the government for the treatment of those caught up in the Windrush scandal.
She said: “It is disgusting but important to highlight that after all their contributions and being invited to come to this country, many like my granddad, if he were still alive and their descendants, are now being told they are here illegally.”
In 2012, several immigration policies were put in place to demand people demonstrate they had a right to live or work in the UK, under then Home Secretary Theresa May. These changes were dubbed the “hostile environment policy.”
Thousands of people who had arrived legally in the UK from the Caribbean, as children, were unable to prove their right to work and live here, as they travelled to the UK on their parents’ passports – which was common practice up until 1998.
“It is disgusting but important to highlight that after all their contributions and being invited to come to this country, many like my granddad, if he were still alive and their descendants, are now being told they are here illegally.”
Those who arrived from the Caribbean and settled in the UK, were granted indefinite leave to remain in 1971.
But in 2010, the Home Office destroyed thousands of landing cards for the Windrush generation and for some, this was the only proof they had of their legal arrival into Britain.
By 2012, when the hostile environment was introduced, many were unable to prove their legal status and were treated as illegal immigrants and lost jobs and homes as a result.
Many were denied access to NHS treatment, benefits, pensions because they were unable to prove their status in the UK. Some were wrongfully deported, detained or threatened with deportation.
The actress also urged people to make a donation to the Windrush Justice Fund which was launched by campaigner Patrick Vernon OBE, by sharing the GoFundMe link in her Instagram bio. In the same post, she shared how her grandfather’s life changed when he arrived in the UK
She said: “He arrived full of hopes and dreams that were largely left unfulfilled as he battled the daily injustices of racism in this country. Without his sacrifices and contribution, and the thousands of men and women like him, this country wouldn’t be what it is today.”
The Home Office have launched the Windrush Scheme and the Windrush Compensation Scheme to try and “right the wrongs” of the scandal.
To donate to the Windrush Justice Fund to: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/windrush-justice-fund