The government must do “a better job” in dealing with the Windrush generation facing deportation from the UK, Penny Mordaunt has said.
The international development secretary told the BBC there is “no question of their right to remain” in the UK.
Many of the Windrush generation, who arrived as child migrants in the 1960s, have been told they are here illegally.
Guy Hewitt, Barbados high commissioner, said a meeting request to discuss the issue was rejected by the government.
The Home Office said delegates at this week’s Commonwealth summit will be able to speak to the prime minister about the issue.
Thousands of people, known as the Windrush generation, arrived in the UK as children in the first wave of Commonwealth immigration 70 years ago.
Under the 1971 Immigration Act, all Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were given indefinite leave to remain – but the right to free movement between Commonwealth nations was ended from that date onwards.
However, the Home Office did not keep a record of those granted leave to remain or issue any paperwork confirming it, meaning it is difficult for the individuals to now prove they are in the UK legally.