Amber Rudd: I realized scope of 'Windrush' migration scandal only 'very recently'

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The home secretary Amber Rudd is appearing in front of the home affairs committee today to answer questions about her handling of the Windrush scandal, which has been rapidly gaining momentum over the past week.

Responding to questions from MPs about the so-called "Windrush" scandal, in which migrants who arrived in the United Kingdom decades ago were denied medical treatment or jobs following demands for paperwork they could not provide, she said that preventing unjustified deportations was her priority.

Long-term residents of the United Kingdom, who came to Britain in the decades after the Second World War, have been wrongly stripped of benefits and threatened with deportation.

But it was Cooper, chair of the powerful Home Affairs Select Committee, who landed a blow.

'I don't think that's got anything to do with it, ' she said.

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'I didn't see it as a systemic issue until very recently'.

But she said a distinction should be drawn between those people who had settled in the United Kingdom legally and contributed to British life and those with no right to be in the UK. "Isn't it time she took responsibility and resigned?"

The issue has created anger in Britain after it was revealed some of these migrants have been made homeless, lost their jobs, threatened with deportation and denied benefits, raising awkward questions about how the pursuit of lower immigration sits alongside the desire to be an outward-looking global economy.

May has been at the centre of a barrage of criticism for the Government's policy to cut net migration down to the tens of thousands - an edict to which May was reportedly determined to stick and which numerous Tories criticised her for.

"Over the years, there have been individual cases of people who have had to regularise their documentation and have done so".

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While many of those who arrived have taken British citizenship or have official documents proving their status, others have struggled to source paperwork demonstrating they are lawfully resident.

"Up and down this country people want to ensure that the Government is taking action against those people who are here in this country illegally", she said. "Last week, the current home secretary admitted the Home Office sometimes loses sight of the individual".

A compensation scheme for those affected by the failings will be introduced within weeks.

"These policies swept up British citizens and legal migrants causing them enormous suffering, as she was warned", he told MPs.

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