They weren't here illegally. They were recruited from China specifically to help the war effort and then treated disgracefully when the war was over.
It wasnt my intent to suggest they were here illegaly - Rather that wartime service should validate their right to be here.
That said in the context of them only being in the UK because they were recruited speciffically for war service - Im less sympethetic to the decision than I was - as i can see why it happenned.
Edit to add - To be clear I see a distinct differrence between here pre war and recruited abroad during the war - The latter wouldknow it was temporary the former - they would have been truly shafted
If their contract didnt give them the right to stay and was clear it was for the duration of the war.
Then the decision to send them away wasnt racist* -it was economic - Demobbed sailors now availible to retun to the MN and thus their contracts finished.
Thats not to say I agree or that they shouldnt have been given the option to stay - but from an economic position - would they have had work? if so would that have been at the expense of former MN sailors conscripted into the RN - which would seem just as shoddy to pull a working man from his job send him to war then cast him aside afterwards.
*See also the sexist policy** of dissmissing those women who had worked in industry during the war - and giving their jobs to men.
The outraged at such riding roughshod over if not completely oblivious to the fact that women were only doing the jobs because the men had been conscripted as such both their factory work and the mens military service were temporary.
And no suggesting that next time we leave men in their jobs and recruit women 1st to avoid this doesnt go down well.
**Im not joking this was a real article a year or 2 back on systemic sexism etc