Home Secretary Amber Rudd should "consider her position" over the "misery" caused to Windrush migrants, Labour's shadow home secretary says.
"So many things have gone wrong," Diane Abbott told BBC Radio 4's Today programme, and Ms Rudd should take responsibility for them.
She accused Ms Rudd of withholding information about how many people have been wrongly detained or deported.
The government has apologised to those affected.
And it has set up a task force to prevent the children of first generation Commonwealth migrants from being deported because they haven't got the right paperwork.
Some have lost their jobs and access to NHS services, or been detained in immigration removal centres, because a change in the law means they have to prove they have been living in the UK, even though they have been in the country legally for decades.
And it has now emerged that documents that had been used by officials to help establish when people arrived in the UK were destroyed by the Home Office in 2010.
The landing cards, which were filled out by Commonwealth migrants arriving in the UK, a process which began with the Empire Windrush ship in 1948, had been stored in the basement of an office in Croydon.
But they were "disposed of" during an office move to comply with, the Home Office says, data protection laws.
The Home Office says the cards were not definitive proof of continuous residence in the UK – it says things like employment and school records were a more reliable method.
But Diane Abbott said the government was "wrong to dismiss the importance of the landing cards" as many Windrush cases turned on when someone entered the country "and the fact that they were just thrown away shows the Home Office doesn't have a care for Commonwealth migrants".
Conservative Culture Secretary Matthew Hancock told Sky News the decision to destroy the documents was taken by officials at the UK Border Agency, which was independent at the time, and had since been brought under direct Home Office control.
'I have always thought I was legal'
Changes to migration rules introduced when Prime Minister Theresa May was home secretary mean those who lack documents are now being told they need evidence to continue working, access key services or even remain in the UK.
This is what happened to 60-year-old Anthony Bryan. He lost his job when he received a letter informing him he had no right to remain in the UK.
He says: "It was a shock because I have always thought I was legal, I was British. I have been here from when I was eight. I didn't give it another thought."
Mr Bryan, who came to Britain from Jamaica in 1965, was held in a detention centre twice for nearly three weeks last year.
He has since been given leave to remain, but is still waiting for legal paperwork to confirm his right to stay.
The children of Commonwealth citizens who arrived with their parents in the UK were automatically granted leave to remain up to the early 1970s.
But they would lose that right if they left the country for more than two years, and the Home Office has been demanding multiple documents to prove residence rather than, say, accepting as proof HMRC records showing that someone had paid tax each year in the UK.
Ms Abbott said the criteria used by the Home Office to establish continued residency was "arbitrary" and officials should be allowed to use their own discretion to decide on cases.
"There should be a group exemption for people who fall in this category – a group of Caribbean migrants who came here as children," said Ms Abbott.
- Windrush warning over EU citizens' rights
And she said it was "extraordinary" that the home secretary had not taken responsibility for the scandal and blamed officials.
"It is not a new situation. It has been going on for years. She has information about who was deported and who was in detention and she needs to make that information public," she told Today.
"This has caused so much misery and ruined so many people's lives."
The Home Office says it is looking at 49 cases relating to Windrush migrants as a result of calls received to a new hotline on Tuesday and has information for anyone concerned about their lack of documentation on its website.
The European Parliament's Brexit chief Guy Verhofstadt has, meanwhile, warned the UK government that EU nationals must not face a similar sort of "bureaucratic nightmare" if they want to stay in the UK after Brexit.
"After the Windrush scandal, we want to be sure that the same is not happening to our European citizens," he told the European Parliament.
The UK government says the three million or so EU citizens living in the UK will only have to provide a limited amount of information in a process which will take minutes, to secure their right to stay.
Are you a member or descendant of the Windrush Generation – or did you arrive in the UK from another Commonwealth country as a minor between 1948-1971? We'd like to hear from you via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:
- WhatsApp: +44 7555 173285
- Send pictures/video to email@example.com
- Upload your pictures / video here
- Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
- Text an SMS or MMS to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (international)