Windrush Anniversary: Where did the Home Office get is so wrong?

Today marks 70 years since the arrival of Caribbean citizens to the UK in order to help rebuild post-war Britain. The Windrush generation were granted British citizenship status and continued to live their lives as British citizens, however, they were not issued with the requisite documents from the Home Office and once Theresa May’s Hostile Environment policy was introduced in 2012, many Windrush citizens found themselves being treat as illegal immigrants. On the Windrush Anniversary, we look at one of the most shameful scandals in recent British history and ask just how did the Home Office get it so wrong?

The Windrush Anniversary – Who are the Windrush generation?

On 22 June 1948, the Empire Windrush Ship docked at Tilbury, Essex, carrying over 500 citizens from the Commonwealth, largely from the Caribbean. They were granted British citizenship under the British Nationality Act of 1948 until the Immigration Act 1971 (“the 1971 Act”) came into force, which then put in place the same visa restrictions and requirements as for migrants from elsewhere. It emerged earlier this year that some Windrush migrants, many of whom entered the UK as young children, were being refused health care and access to jobs because they did not have the paperwork to prove their status following a tightening of immigration rules in 2012 and faced deportation. It is estimated 63 of the Windrush generation had been deported, despite then-Home Secretary Amber Rudd stating that no one had actually left the UK.

The UK Conservative Government, instigated by Theresa May, have been obsessed with meeting immigration targets, with the ultimate goal to reduce the UK’s net migration figure to less than 200,000. A consequence of this harsh immigration policy has left many innocent and vulnerable individuals on the wrong side of immigration enforcement and the Home Office decision making teams.

The Windrush Anniversary – How are generation Windrush being celebrated?

Across the country, events are being held today on the 70 year Windrush Anniversary, in order to celebrate the enormous contribution members of the Windrush generation have made to the UK, including a service at Westminster Abbey which will be attended by Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and families of the Windrush generation. There will be a review into the Windrush Scandal and what action is needed to prevent anything like this from happening again. The Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said “the contribution that the Windrush generation have made to this country is invaluable and I am committed to putting things right”. 

As we have previously posted, the Home Office has also launched a new Windrush Scheme, in order to facilitate the process for the Windrush generation to get the necessary documentation in order to prove their status in the UK. According to the Home Office, applications are already being processed and so far 285 people have been granted British citizenship. The UK Government has also announced that there will be an annual Windrush Day, in order to commemorate the Windrush generation. However, critics have argued that the Government should place more focus on rectifying the damage that Theresa May’s Hostile Environment Policy has caused for the Windrush migrants and the wider implication on other immigrants in the UK.

Using Legal Representation to submit an Application under the Windrush Scheme

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a UK visa application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your UK visa application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your UK visa application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful Windrush Scheme Applications

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your UK visa application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your UK visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful UK visa applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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