The so-called “Windrush Scandal” has appeared in the news frequently recently. However, what it means for people trying to regulate their stay in the UK, or come to the UK, remains unclear with various interpretation as to who and how it affects certain “migrants”…
What is ‘Windrush’?
The Windrush generation was a generation of migrates that the British government invited over from the Caribbean and other British colonies to help with the labour shortage Britain was experiencing after World War Two.
In exchange for people coming to the UK to live and work the government promised Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK for those making the move. This was included in the Immigration Act 1971.
What was the scandal?
Over the years the British government has gradually taken a much stricter approach to UK immigration. One way in which they have done this is through what the government calls “the hostile environment”.
This is a series of policies by which the Home Office has made life in the UK increasingly difficult for illegal migrants and those without the correct immigration papers. It includes things like not being able to get a driving licence, open a bank account or even access NHS treatment (although the government have since backtracked on this particular policy).
The much alluded to Windrush Scandal evolved as a result of migrants from the Windrush generation being mistaken for illegal immigrants, and therefore being adversely affected by the hostile environment.
What was the scandal’s impact?
The result of the scandal meant that lots of people who were here in the UK entirely legally were being treated as if they were not.
People lost their jobs, were refused NHS treatment, lost their home and some were even forced to return to the country they were born in, despite being promised British Citizenship, and having lived in the UK for many years.
This has been happening for several years, since as early as 2013, before it recently caught media attention and the government and public realised the extent of the scandal. It is a shame that the media has taken such a long time to caught wind of this, as any UK immigration Lawyer will confirm that this issues actually date back to when our PM was the Secretary of State.
What has the government promised to do about it?
In April 2018, because of media reports, the government realised the extent of the scandal and pledged to change the situation. The government, including Theresa May as well as Home Secretary Amber Rudd, released statements apologising.
The government have set up a special ‘Windrush Taskforce’ to deal with the claims coming in. This task force will deal with every migrant who has experienced negative consequences of the Windrush Scandal.
The government has offered several things to the victims of the scandal, these are:
The government are now offering free British citizenship to the victims of the scandal; they will not be required to pass the usual ‘Life in The UK Test’, English Language requirement or produce the extensive amount of documents required to ordinarily apply for British citizenship. The current fee for such application is £1330.
The government is looking to provide compensation to all the victims of the scandal; however, it continues to remain unclear exactly how the government will go about doing this. If you have been affected you should email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Have you been affected by it?
If you have been affected or are unsure if you have been affected by the Windrush Scandal and want to know more about your legal position, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free chat, also please note you can be able to call the Home Office direct, or perhaps attend some of the ongoing HOme Office attended clinics in a community center near you.
Also if you have been affected by any other UK immigration matter, Be it a Visa you are looking to submit, or challenge a rejection please contact and Speak to Mr. Tito Mbariti, a UK Immigration, and Human Rights Solicitor, for a free consultation about your legal options.