According to Justice Secretary David Gauke, Commonwealth immigrants caught up in the Windrush scandal do not need legal aid to help them resolve their immigration status because the Home Office will be able to help them.
His comments come following Labour MP David Lammy’s calls for the government to provide exceptional case funding for those of the ‘Windrush generation’ implicated in the scandal. Lammy’s concern regarding funding is not unwarranted; The Law Society recently warned that justice may be denied due to legal aid cuts. Nearly all non-asylum immigration cases were taken out of scope by the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act in April 2013.
Despite these expressed concerns, Gauke maintained that people caught up in the Windrush scandal did not need public funding. In a letter to Lammy he revealed he was confident that the Home Secretary Sajid Javid; '…will make the process to obtain documents as simple as possible.'
He also explained;
'The Home Office are putting in place a dedicated Windrush case-working team which will help those affected through the system. Individuals will be able to speak with this taskforce free of charge. They can do by either using the dedicated helpline, contacting the taskforce via email, or attending surgeries that are beginning to be rolled out.
'They will be invited to in-person appointment where Home Office staff will assist them with the application process. As such, the process should not require anyone to seek legal advice, and a public statement on the availability of exceptional case funding should not be necessary.'
Despite Gauke’s attempts at reassurance, Lammy later tweeted;
‘I don’t trust the Home Office as far as I can throw it.’
Duncan Lewis’ Immigration Director Rohena Wallace weighs in on the situation;
“I have concerns about the Justice Secretary’s statement. Given the way the Windrush scandal came to light and the hostile treatment received from the Home Office; we struggle to believe that justice will be achieved without the assistance of lawyers to advise and guide each applicant through the process. Therefore, it is vital that those who are eligible for legal aid are able to obtain funding from the Legal Aid Agency.”
Immigration solicitor, Jamie Bell added;
“We have seen the atrocious way in which the Windrush generation have been treated by this government without the intervention of lawyers, as many have been treated as foreigners in their own countries, including being subject to detention and removal and having their access to vital services taken from them. We will continue to help anyone who comes to us with questions on the Windrush process.”
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.
Duncan Lewis Windrush Solicitors
Duncan Lewis’ team of lawyers specialising in handling matters involving the Windrush scandal offer advice and assistance on a range of related matters. If you believe you have a right to be in the UK, our solicitors provide legal advice and we might be able to secure compensation for you. We regularly represent individuals who are treated unlawfully by the UK Government. For example, we act for Albert Thompson, whose case sparked national awareness of the Windrush Scandal.
We can also assist those who have been refused to return to the UK even though they have a right to be here. The UK Government has finally admitted that members of the ‘Windrush Generation’ have a right to stay in the UK as British citizens. The Windrush Generation are those who came to the UK from Caribbean countries, especially Jamaica, between 1948 and 1973.
Unfortunately, for some people the Government admission comes too late, they have already been affected. If this applies to you, or someone you know, you may be eligible for compensation for loss of earnings, stress and inconvenience.
Please get in touch with our lawyers specialising in Windrush cases:
Rohena Wallace: firstname.lastname@example.org
Toufique Hossain: email@example.com