Empire Windrush was originally a passenger liner and cruise ship launched in Germany in 1930. She was given to the United Kingdom as a prize of war.
Today Windrush is best remembered for bringing one of the first large groups of post-war immigrants to the United Kingdom. British Caribbean people who came to the UK in the period following World War II are referred to as the Windrush generation.
It is unclear how many people belong to the Windrush generation, since many of those who arrived as children travelled on their parents' passports and never applied for travel documents - but it is thought to be thousands.
The influx ended with the 1971 Immigration Act, when Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were given indefinite leave to remain. The Home Office did not keep a record of those granted leave to remain or issue any paperwork confirming it - meaning it is difficult for Windrush arrivals to prove they are in the UK legally. In early 2010 their landing cards were destroyed. The generation itself believed themselves to be British citizens because of their links with British Colonies.
Changes to immigration law in 2012, which require people to have documentation to work, rent a property or access benefits, including healthcare, have left people fearful about their status. Those who lack documentation are now being told they need evidence to continue working, get treatment from the NHS - or even to remain in the UK.
In her apology, Theresa May insisted the government was not "clamping down" on Commonwealth citizens, particularly those from the Caribbean. Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd apologised for the "appalling" way the Windrush generation had been treated. More than 160,000 people have signed a petition calling on the government to grant an amnesty to anyone from the Windrush generation who arrived in the UK as a minor between 1948 and 1971.
The Government had promised that anyone from the Windrush generation who had built a life in the UK would receive free citizenship, which means they do not have to pay a fee. The government is also offering settlement biometric residence cards, however many from this generation believe that this is not enough; they should be given British citizenship automatically.
The Home Office is to axe immigration removal targets - a day after Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd said they did not exist, the BBC reported.
Ms Rudd told MPs investigating the Windrush scandal last Wednesday 25th April that targets were not set for immigration officials.
But after fresh evidence emerged overnight on Thursday she was forced to admit to MPs that "local" targets for "internal" use had been set.
The Home Office is now scrapping them, as reported by BBC.
The instruction to axe the targets is likely to be sent out from Immigration and Enforcement, a division of the Home Office, in the coming days. However, the government's overall target of reducing net migration to under 100,000 a year will stay in place, the BBC's political editor said.
If you believe that you are from the Windrush generation, without status in the UK, please get in touch with us. You may be entitled to damages for loss of earnings, mistreatment or deportation. Contact Tamana Aziz on 020 3114 1130 or via email email@example.com.
Author, Tamana Aziz, is a Director of Immigration specialising in Business Immigration law under the Points Based System. Recommended in Legal 500 2017 as ‘a great communicator’ and a ‘very committed’ individual in her field, Tamana has developed an expertise in dealing with complex appeals (including deportation appeals and country guidance cases) in the Immigration Tribunals, High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Tamana advises employers and provides bespoke training on subjects such as compliance with the Home Office’s Prevention of Illegal Working regime and how to use the online sponsorship management system.
In addition, Tamana advises high net worth and skilled individuals on extending Tier 2 (General) visas, spousal applications, applications for settlement and British Citizenship. Tamana also has significant experience assisting clients with immigration applications under EU law.
Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors
Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors are able to advise on business immigration and right to work in the UK, Tier-2 visa applications and appeals, student and graduate visas, spousal visas and visa overstays. Duncan Lewis' Immigration team is recognised by Legal 500 2017 as a ‘diligent’ and ‘professional’ team who ‘is prepared to go the extra mile.’
The team has a broad practice representing businesses and individual clients in all aspects of personal immigration, asylum/human rights and nationality matters. We are the dominant law firm in the UK for the provision of publicly funded immigration legal services for asylum, immigration detention, bail, deportation appeals and EC law issues.
The department holds a niche practice representing judicial review immigration claimant cases before the High Court with a significant practice in Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal appellant cases; unlawful immigration detention cases with high net claims for damages and challenging immigration removal cases; and Dublin III removal cases. Our specialist business immigration solicitors advise businesses and individuals on any changes to UK immigration law during Brexit negotiations and after 29 March 2019, post-Brexit.
For expert legal advice on international recruitment and UK business immigration law, call Duncan Lewis business immigration solicitors on 0333 772 0409.