UK

Windrush: Sajid Javid apologises to 49 more victims of scandal

Immigrants on board the 'Empire Windrush' Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Those who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Commonwealth countries have been labelled the Windrush generation

The Home Secretary Sajid Javid has apologised to another 49 victims of the Windrush scandal.

The Windrush generation arrived from Commonwealth countries between 1948 and 1971 and had lived in the UK for decades when some were wrongly told they were in the country illegally.

Some lost their right to work or get NHS treatment, while others were detained or deported.

A total of 67 people have now received personal apology letters from Mr Javid.

He said the experiences of some of the Windrush generation had been "completely unacceptable" and he was "committed to right the wrongs of successive governments".

The government's Commonwealth Citizen's Taskforce would be reaching out to individuals they were not already in contact with to provide any assistance required to document their status and to explain the compensation scheme, the Home Office said.

An estimated 500,000 people now living in the UK have been called the Windrush generation, in reference to the name of a ship which brought workers to the UK from Caribbean countries in 1948.

In 1971, Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were granted indefinite leave to remain but thousands had arrived as children travelling on their parents' passports, without their own documents.

Changes to immigration law in 2012 meant those without documents were asked for evidence to continue working, access services or even to remain in the UK.

Some were held in detention or removed, despite living in the country for decades.

A review by a Home Office taskforce of 11,800 Caribbean cases in 2018 identified 164 who were deported or detained who might have been resident in the UK before 1973.

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Media captionWindrush scandal: One year on

The Commonwealth Citizen Taskforce, which is open to all nationalities, was established by the Home Office to "right the wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation".

A compensation scheme for those affected opened in April and the government said there was "no cap" on the amount victims could receive.

More than 6,400 individuals have been given documentation confirming their status so far, including over 4,200 individuals who have successfully applied to become British nationals, the Home Office said.

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