WINDRUSH SCANDAL What is the Windrush generation scandal, when did the children come to the UK and are families getting compensation?

The Caribbean migrants were told they are in the UK illegally despite having lived and worked here for decades


What is the Windrush generation scandal, when did the children come to the UK and are families getting compensation?

The Caribbean migrants were told they are in the UK illegally despite having lived and worked here for decades

By Mark Hodge, Sofia Petkar, Erica Doyle Higgins and Jon Rogers

22nd June 2018, 1:00 pm

Updated: 22nd June 2018, 1:24 pm

THOUSANDS of people from the Caribbean who arrived in the UK as children were threatened with deportation in what became known as the Windrush Scandal.

The so-called Windrush generation were told they were here illegally despite having lived and worked in the country for decades. Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned over her handling of the debacle.

Many moved to England due to mass unemployment in Jamaica after World War Two

Who are the Windrush generation?

The migrants were named after the Empire Windrush ship which first brought families over to help rebuild post-war Britain.

They arrived on British shores between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries.

The Windrush docked at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on June 22, 1948, carrying 492 people, many of them children.

They came from islands such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

How many are there and are they here illegally?

There are around 500,000 people who are resident in the UK who arrived before 1971 and were born in Commonwealth countries, according to Oxford University's Migration Observatory.

Although many of the child migrants travelled on their parents’ passports, so it is difficult to estimate how many people belong to the Windrush generation.

They have fallen victim to rule changes in 2012 aimed at stopping overstaying.

Their legal status changed overnight despite living, working and paying tax in Britain for decades.

The migrants were told they needed evidence including passports to continue working or getting NHS treatment.

But most arrived on parents’ passports and never applied for travel documents.

Their landing cards had also been destroyed in 2010 while Theresa May was the Home Secretary.

Mechanic Albert Thompson, 63, who came to Britain as a child, was first evicted from his home and then quoted £54,000 to pay for radiotherapy to tackle cancer.

He said: “They’re asking me to prove I’m British. I feel abandoned.”

Many gathered for the Windrush generation solidarity protest in Brixton, London on April 20

What have politicians said about the scandal?

Theresa May was caught up in growing public anger over Britain’s treatment of the migrants.

Rule changes meant thousands who arrived from the Caribbean with their parents in 1948 faced being deported.

But it emerged Downing Street snubbed a request for a formal diplomatic discussion on the scandal.

And Home Secretary Amber Rudd issued a grovelling apology for the "appalling" treatment of the Windrush generation.

Representatives of 12 Caribbean countries who asked to meet the PM during the April 2018 meeting of Commonwealth heads were told it would not be on the agenda.

Barbados high commissioner Guy Hewitt confirmed: “We did request a meeting and regrettably they advised us it is not possible.”

British officials later insisted there would be “a number of opportunities” for talks.

A Number 10 spokesman said the Prime Minister was clear that "no-one with the right to be here will be made to leave".

Campaigner David Lammy said the snub “brings great shame on our country”.

But the Labour MP did celebrate a petition calling for an immediate amnesty gaining the 100,000 names needed to trigger a Commons debate.

On April 17, Theresa May personally apologised to Caribbean leaders.

The Prime Minister sought to reassure those who came legally to the UK following World War II and built their lives in the country that they could stay indefinitely.

She welcomed her Jamaican counterpart Andrew Holness to No10 for talks after U-turning on the initial decision to turn down the meeting.

The PM told him the country was a "key partner" and there are "great opportunities" to enhance their relationship.

A new Home Office taskforce was then created to help those affected.

On April 25, Jeremy Corbyn blasted Theresa May in the commons and called for Amber Rudd's resignation.

Corbyn claimed the Government’s “hostile environment” policy, designed to force out illegal migrants, was responsible for the troubles experienced by hundreds of Caribbean-born Brits.



Labour MP David Lammy (centre) with members of the Windrush generation

During Prime Minister’s Questions, he said: “The current Home Secretary has inherited a failing policy and made it worse.

“Isn’t it time she took responsibility and resigned?”

But May promised to protect Windrush Brits, saying: “We have made absolutely clear that the Windrush generation have a right to be here, they are British, they are part of us - the problem at the time was they were not documented with that right, and we are putting that right.”

Late on April 29, Amber Rudd called the PM to tell her that she was resigning after it emerged she was fully aware of deportation targets.

Rudd buckled under mounting pressure after it was revealed that targets for deporting illegal migrants do exist - despite her telling a Commons committee they didn't.

Will the Windrush generation get compensation?

The PM said that the members of the Windrush generation who have been treated unfairly will be compensated "where appropriate".

Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury said the government would "look sympathetically" at the compensation requests.

The Government also stated it will fast track citizenship for people affected by the Windrush scandal, even if they lacked a full set of documents to prove their status.

Will the Windrush generation be granted British citizenship?

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd confirmed that UK citizenship fees and language tests will be waived for the Windrush generation and their families.

She told MPs she wanted people to have the "formal status" they should have had all along, without having to pay naturalisation fees or pass any tests.

She also vowed speedy compensation for anyone who had "suffered loss".

The free citizenship offer will apply not just to the families of Caribbean migrants who came to the UK between 1948 and 1973 but anyone from other Commonwealth nations who settled in the UK over the same period.

Sajid David became the new Home Secretary following Rudd's resignation.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd tells MPs her plan to fix Windrush Generation debacle


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