Grant frontline coronavirus fighters citizenship
Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams has called for all non-British people working on the frontline of the Coronavirus crisis be granted citizenship if they have requested it.
Following calls from local NHS workers, the Plaid MP has written to the Home Secretary with the request.
Mr Williams noted that the British Government previously granted the Gurkhas British citizenship for their contribution to defending the UK.
Around 25 per cent of UK hospital staff were born overseas figures according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
In the letter, Hywel Williams MP writes:
"Many key workers are facing unprecedented difficulties, from the lack of personal protective equipment to the drastic surge in patient numbers. Sadly, the fast spread of the virus has tragically already claimed the lives of many healthcare workers.
"Despite their valiant efforts, many key workers who do not hold British citizenship, from doctors to hospital cleaners and from nursing home aides to paramedics, are still living in perpetual uncertainty about whether they can stay in the UK permanently. To add insult to injury, they also face exorbitant application fees.
"This pandemic has shown that immigrants are a vital part of our society and our economy. It is therefore crucial that the UK Government recognises the scale of sacrifice and commitment that key workers are making.
"The UK Government granted the Gurkhas British citizenship rights for their great skill, courage and dignity during some of the most difficult times in history.
"The coronavirus pandemic is no different. I hope that you will consider this request carefully and give immediate, free citizenship to all key workers who have applied, thereby granting them the honour and recognition they deserve."