Home Secretary apologises to members of Windrush generation

10 Jun 2019 01:56 PM

The Home Secretary has issued further personal apologies to members of the Windrush generation.

The Home Secretary has written 46 letters to people who were sanctioned under compliant environment policies and 7 to people with criminal convictions who were held under immigration detention powers at the end of their prison sentence.

These people were identified during the historical review of removals, detentions and proactive compliant environment measures affecting Caribbean Commonwealth nationals. Evidence suggests they came to the UK from the Caribbean before 1973 and stayed here permanently but were unable to demonstrate their continuous residence here which led to action being taken against them.

The Commonwealth Citizens Taskforce will be reaching out to those individuals who are not already in touch, to provide any assistance they require to document their status, and to explain the compensation scheme.

To date over 6,400 individuals have been given documentation confirming their status, including over 4,200 individuals who have successfully applied to become British nationals.

Home Secretary, Sajid Javid yesterday said:

I have been very clear that the experiences of some members of the Windrush generation has been completely unacceptable, which is why I am committed to right the wrongs of successive governments.

I have personally apologised to those identified through this review and I will make sure they receive support and access to the compensation scheme.

Since we launched the Commonwealth Citizens’ Taskforce, over 6,400 individuals have been given documents to confirm their status so that they can get on with their lives in the UK.

The historical review identified a further 9 people who were sanctioned under compliant environment policies because they had lost their entitlement to indefinite leave to remain after leaving the UK for more than 2 years, and 3 individuals with criminality who were detained temporarily at port but allowed to enter. All people identified by the review will be contacted by the Commonwealth Citizens Taskforce, if they are not already in touch.

These apology letters are in addition to the 18 announced in August last year following the provisional results of the historical review of 11,800 Caribbean Commonwealth nationals who had been removed or detained since 2002. Four from this group will receive a second apology from the Home Secretary for being sanctioned. This means that the Home Secretary will apologise to 67 people in total.

A more detailed breakdown of the work of the historical review can be found in the letter to the HASC.

To right the wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation, the Home Office established the Commonwealth Citizen Taskforce which is open to all nationalities, as is the compensation scheme which opened in April 2019.

An independent lessons learned review, led by Wendy Williams, has also been set up to establish what went wrong and how to prevent it happening again.