British Windrush scandal, Theresa May’s scandal


Andria Marsh holding a photo of her parents, who arrived on the ship Windrush, after the service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey in London last month

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Responsibility for Windrush deportations rests ‘squarely on Theresa May’s shoulders’, Lucas charges

RESPONSIBILITY for the Windrush scandal falls “squarely on the shoulders” of Theresa May for ignoring a report warning her what would happen, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas charged yesterday.

The Brighton Pavilion MP had tabled a written question asking if Ms May, as home secretary, had acted on the Legal Action Group’s prescient October 2014 report Chasing Status.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes responded: ”No specific action was taken as a result of this report.”

The report recommended a number of measures which could have prevented the Windrush scandal, including to set up a special unit to fast-track cases of people living in Britain on January 1 1973.

It also called for the restoration of legal aid for these cases, allowing Commonwealth-born citizens to work, access the NHS and claim benefits and for Home Office proof of residence standards to be revised.

Another of the report’s recommendations was for “greater openness” from the Home Office about its archiving and destruction policies, and for it to accept that some immigration records could be rendered inaccurate or incomplete over time.

Ms Lucas said: “We now have yet more clear-cut evidence that Theresa May as home secretary chose to explicitly ignore recommendations that would have prevented much of the damage of the Windrush scandal from happening.

“Responsibility for the Windrush scandal, and the countless lives it has ruined, falls squarely on the shoulders of our Prime Minister — and she must be held to account for this act of great betrayal.

“Corrective measures are all well and good but without a root and branch transformation of both attitude and policy across Government, the hostile environment and all its damaging consequences will persist.”

The 2014 report highlighted the plight of thousands of long-term British residents who are unable to prove their immigration status or have “irregular” status, despite having lived legally in the country for most of their lives after arriving as children.

They were being targeted for detention and deportation under Ms May’s hostile immigration environment and denied access to work and public services.

Windrush man unlawfully charged thousands for cancer treatment, High Court hears: here.

The Tories are ‘dragging their feet’ over Windrush compensation, Abbott charges: here.

THE government’s decision to change immigration rules under which migrant workers could be denied the right to strike is “not going far enough”, Labour said today: here.

Bid to gag Windrush generation ‘disgraceful,’ says Abbott. Home Office confirms at least one person had been persuaded to sign a non-disclosure agreement in return for compensation: here.

Sajid Javid finally apologises for treatment of Windrush generation: here.

50 thoughts on “British Windrush scandal, Theresa May’s scandal

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  5. Friday, 13 July 2018

    Right to strike restored – for those waiting for ‘leave to remain’

    IN LIGHT of the Windrush scandal the government has been forced to change the rules to ensure workers from other countries can participate in strike action without fear of it impacting on their right to remain.

    Up until now, those who are awaiting their ‘right to remain’ from the Home Office are banned from taking part in a strike, and if found to do so can have their ‘right to remain’ denied and are therefore deported.

    Tory Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced yesterday that this anti-union rule, which denies those from other countries the fundamental right to strike, has been changed. UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: ‘International staff make a vital contribution to our economy and we are delighted that they can now play a full role at work without fear of reprisal. All workers should be able to join their colleagues in defending their employment rights.

    ‘Strike action is never taken lightly, but the previous lack of clarity meant migrant workers who needed to take unpaid leave for other reasons could not risk taking part for fear of risking their right to remain in the country.’

    Meanwhile, over 400 GPs risk deportation as the NHS is unable to sponsor their visa. NHS England has reached out to GP practices in an urgent bid to find sponsors for 400 international GPs due to complete their training this month. Unless these are matched with GP practices that hold sponsorship licenses, they face having to leave England when their visas expire.

    • Labour has called for a total review of the government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy after ministers said part of it had been paused. Data-sharing aimed at identifying ‘illegal immigrants’ has been suspended for three months so people from the Windrush generation were not ‘erroneously impacted’.

    Shadow Labour home secretary Diane Abbott said: ‘Unless we review it in detail, the Windrush generation will not be the last end of it in terms of unfairness and cruelty.’ On Wednesday, Home Secretary Sajid Javid revealed that pro-active data sharing between the Home Office and other departments had been paused for people of all nationalities over 30 years old. Doctors, teachers and banks were asked to ‘share information’ on people.

    This was part of what has been the ‘hostile environment’ approach which has been blamed for members of the Windrush generation, who are in the UK legally, being wrongly threatened with deportation.

    https://wrp.org.uk/news/14493

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