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U.K. home minister Amber Rudd brought down by immigration scandal

British Prime Minister Theresa May is appointing a new interior minister as she tries to contain the scandal.
Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Home Secretary Amber Rudd attends the official unveiling of a statue in honour of the first female Suffragist Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square on April 24, 2018 in London, England.

Britain’s embattled interior minister resigned late Sunday after she admitted "inadvertently" misleading parliamentarians over a drive to reduce illegal immigration.

Amber Rudd had been due to make a statement to Parliament on Monday over what has become known as the Windrush scandal, which refers to the people — nurses, railway workers, engineers — who came to the U.K. from the Caribbean more than half a century ago to help it rebuild after the devastation of World War II.

The "Windrush generation" were named for the ship Empire Windrush, which in 1948 brought hundreds of Caribbean immigrants to Britain.

In recent decades, though, many had been refused medical care in Britain or threatened with deportation because they could not produce paperwork proving their right to reside in the country, even though they had an automatic right to do so.

Rudd is the fourth member of Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet to resign in six months and May was a leading architect of Britain's tough immigration policies when she was interior minister in ex-prime minister David Cameron's government.

May is expected to name a replacement on Monday — and is facing opposition calls to take responsibility for tough immigration policies that started when she was home secretary in 2012.

Rudd and May have apologized repeatedly to the Windrush generation in recent weeks, saying all pre-1973 Commonwealth immigrants who don’t already have British citizenship will get it, and those affected will get compensation.

But Rudd’s position worsened after she told lawmakers last week that the government did not have targets for deporting people — only for a 2017 memo to emerge that mentioned specific targets for "enforced removals."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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