The Windrush Generation has once again been claiming headlines as the government continues to deport offenders who came to the UK as children, in the face of large scale anti-deportation protests.
Who are the Windrush Generation?
A quick refresher on who comes under this label:
Those arriving in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries have been labelled the Windrush generation.
This is a reference to the ship MV Empire Windrush, which arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on 22 June 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, as a response to post-war labour shortages in the UK.
The ship carried 492 passengers – many of them children.
The influx ended with the 1971 Immigration Act, when Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were given indefinite leave to remain.
Mistreatment of the Generation?
The Windrush scandal back in 2018 revealed that citizens of Commonwealth countries – who had an automatic right to settle in the UK until 1973 – had wrongly faced questioning about their rights.
Some were denied entry to the UK when they sought to return home after visiting their birth country, whilst others were wrongly denied access to public services and benefits – including the NHS. Deportations also took place where they, legally, should not have.
Compensation Scheme – failing so far?
The Home Office set up a compensation scheme to make up for these errors and the unfair treatment of not only the Windrush generation, but anyone who came to the UK before 31 December 1988 from any country.
Despite this system being in place for 10 months, only 3% of claimants have received any compensation from the Home Office. This amount of compensation is worth under £65,000.
An extension on the time that this compensation will be available for has been announced, and comes after many complaints from people who have already submitted claims and received nothing or who have attempted to fill in the compensation form but cannot do it correctly. Campaigners have called on the government to fund legal advice so claimants can be helped to apply where they are unable to themselves.
How long is the extension?
Two more years have been added, so the thousands of people affected by this immigration scandal now have until April 2023 to claim.
If you need any help with your application, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us on 020 7928 0276 or email in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A flight to Jamaica has taken off today (11.02.20) holding 20 people who have committed criminal offences since coming to the UK. Originally about 50 had been expected to be on-board.
The number of people being deported was reduced after a court order restricting the Home Office to deport anyone who had no access to legal advice due to issues with an O2 mast (phone service which caused problems with communication between deportees and their legal aids).
More than 170 cross-party MPs have also supported calls on the prime minister to suspend the flight until the publication of the Windrush lessons learned review.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has defended the action, saying those on the flight had been convicted of “serious offences”, carrying sentences of more than a year and that she is bound by legislation to deport them.
A major factor for those who oppose the use of deportation is that the criminal offenders have been living in the UK for so long, since they were children, they have no memory of life in their country of birth.
Other arguments are that many of the offenders are victims of grooming, and that they were heavily influenced by gangs and criminals who were already present in the UK when they arrived as children. Also, in many cases those being deported have already served time in prison for their crimes, leading some to think that to deport them is an unnecessarily harsh punishment.
Circumstances leading to deportation
Usually if the crime has warranted a sentence of 12 months or more, the Home Office will push for deportation of the offender. This is also the case with suspended sentences.
Minor offences committed frequently can also add up and lead to deportation of the offender, especially if the crimes are committed within a short space of time from one another.
The Home Office will always be notified when a foreign national has committed a crime in the UK, so that they can plan out whether or not that person needs to be deported.
In cases where offenders have fulfilled the requirements for Permanent Residence in the UK, this will be revoked and they may still be deported.
Legal assistance and Judicial Review
If the offender has had no chance to receive professional legal advice in the lead up to their deportation, this can be grounds for them to go to a Judicial Review.
A judicial review can challenge the way a decision has been made, if you believe it was illegal, irrational or unfair. It is not really about whether the decision was “right”, but whether the law has been correctly applied and the right procedures have been followed.
As everyone has the right to legal aid, if an offender has been denied this right then their deportation may be delayed or stopped altogether.
And, the right to appeal?
A right of appeal doesn’t necessarily prevent people seeking judicial reviews.
For example, if someone doesn’t have a right of appeal in the UK but then he/she cannot effectively appeal against the decision from outside the UK, a judicial review may be considered by the appellant to ask for an in-country appeal right.
If you have questions about this or any other type of legal enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact us on 020 7928 0276 or email into email@example.com.