Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968
|Long title||An Act to amend sections 1 and 2 of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962, and Schedule 1 to that Act, and to make further provision as to Commonwealth citizens landing in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid|
|Citation||1968 c. 9|
|Territorial extent||United Kingdom|
|Royal assent||1 March 1968|
|Repealed by||Immigration Act 1971|
|Relates to||Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962|
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The Act amended the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962, further reducing rights of citizens of the Commonwealth of Nations countries (as of 2010, comprising approximately 1.9 billion people, including New Zealand, Australia, The Republic of India, Islamic Republic of Pakistan (which included East Pakistan province), some African nations including Nigeria and many Caribbean islands) to migrate to the UK. The Act barred the future right of entry previously enjoyed by Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, to those born there or who had at least one parent or grandparent born there.
It was introduced amid concerns that up to 200,000 Kenyan Asians fleeing that country's "Africanization" policy, would take up their right to reside in the UK. The bill went through parliament in three days, supported by the leadership of both the governing Labour and main opposition Conservative parties, though opposed by Labour backbenchers, a few Conservatives such as Iain Macleod and Michael Heseltine, and the small parliamentary Liberal Party. The passage of the Bill was among the most divisive and controversial decisions taken by a British government – for some it was the most shameful piece of legislation ever enacted by parliament, the ultimate appeasement of racist hysteria, and for others it was the Labour Party and particularly James Callaghan at his finest.
The 1968 Act was superseded by the Immigration Act 1971.
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