The Windrush Generation ?
We’re celebrating Black History Month at X1.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Windrush scandal.
Who are the Windrush Generation?
The Windrush generation refers to half a million people who came from the Caribbean to the UK between 1948 – 1971. Almost 500 people came on the ship MV Empire Windrush. A lot of the people on board were children.
At the time, Commonwealth citizens living in the UK had the right to remain in the country.
Why were they deported?
The government introduced the Hostile Environment policy. The aim was to make the lives of immigrants so difficult that they would choose to leave. They were denied access to work, housing and health care.
Because of the new policy, people from the Windrush Generation started receiving letters claiming they have no right to be in the UK. They were treated as illegal immigrants. As a result, people wrongly lost their jobs, homes and access to the NHS whilst others were deported.
Caribbean leaders tried to highlight the issues occuring due to the policy. However, the government ignored this. They refused to meet with community leaders.
The Windrush Scandal
The media revealed the wrongful deportation of the Windrush generation in 2017. In 2018, the issue was finally recognised in Parliament.
It came to light that the Home Office had destroyed thousands of landing cards and records. It therefore became impossible for Windrush people to prove their right to remain in the UK.
A scathing independent report found the Home Office had failed it’s legal duty to tackle racial discrimination. It’s author, Wendy Williams, has said the scandal was ‘…foreseeable and avoidable’ and the Home Office showed ‘…ignorance and thoughtlessness’.
What’s happening now?
Due to government failings there’s still a huge backlog of cases – 3,720 in April 2020. Some people are waiting up to 1 year for a response.
Minimal compensation has been given to those affected. Only 36 claims had been settled by February 2020.
24 wrongly deported people died before the government contacted them.
How you can help
The Guardian published a fantastic guide on how to help and support those affected by the Windrush scandal.
Click here to take a look and get involved!
National Windrush Day – 22nd June
Marking the anniversary of the Windrush people arriving in Britain. Let’s celebrate and support a generation that the government tried to erase.