UK home secretary Sajid Javid has issued another personal apology for the Windrush scandal, involving migrants being wrongly denied their British citizenship rights, as a latest official update revealed that hundreds more Indians were caught up in the row.
The Windrush generation refers to citizens of former British colonies who arrived before 1973, when the rights of such Commonwealth citizens to live and work in Britain were substantially curtailed.
While a large proportion of them were of Jamaican/Caribbean descent who came on the ship Windrush, Indians and other South Asians were also affected by the UK government’s handling of their immigration status.
According to the latest update by UK home secretary Javid on Monday, a total of 737 Indians have been able to confirm their status in the wake of the scandal involving Commonwealth nationals wrongly denied their citizenship rights in Britain.
A majority of them (559) had arrived in the UK before 1973, when the immigration rules had changed, while the others either arrived later or were a family member of the so-called Windrush generation.
“I have personally apologised to those identified through this review and I will make sure they receive support and access to the compensation scheme, said Javid, who took charge of the UK Home Office as a result of the scandal last year.
“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, he said.
The UK Home Office had set up a Windrush Taskforce in April 2018 to deal with a backlog of thousands of such cases, with Javid providing regular updates to the Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee Chair, Yvette Cooper, on the progress of the scheme.
In his latest update this week, the minister confirmed that as of the end of April 30 this year, 6,470 individuals have been granted some form of documentation by the Taskforce. He also revealed that he has written 46 letters to people, mainly of Caribbean origin, who were wrongly sanctioned under policies aimed at illegal immigrants.
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, a Home Office statement said.