Windrush review finds 18 people may have been wrongfully removed or detained
Home Secretary Sajid Javid apologised, saying he is committed to ‘righting the wrongs of the past’.
Eighteen long-term UK residents may have been wrongfully removed from the country or held in immigration detention as a result of the Windrush scandal, a new Home Office review has found.
Officials examined nearly 12,000 historical records and established that 11 people who came to the country from the Caribbean prior to 1973 and stayed permanently left the country voluntarily after being unable to establish continuous residence.
Some of those who departed were served with immigration enforcement papers informing them they had no right to be in the UK.
The experiences faced by some members of the Windrush generation are completely unacceptable and I am committed to righting the wrongs of the past Home Secretary Sajid Javid
The review found that a further seven individuals were detained before being released, without being removed.
Of these 18, four were removed and two detained before May 2010 and seven were removed and five detained after that month.
The review, which has looked at 11,800 detention and removal cases of non-foreign national offenders, also identified 74 people who it would appear were either detained or removed because they had lost their entitlement to indefinite leave to remain after leaving the UK for more than two years. `
A further 72 people were detained temporarily at port but allowed to enter.
The Home Office said all of those identified will be put in contact with a specialist taskforce set up in response to the crisis and signposted to a compensation scheme.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the initial priority is to contact the 18 cases which the Government considers are the most likely to have suffered “detriment”.
He said: “The experiences faced by some members of the Windrush generation are completely unacceptable and I am committed to righting the wrongs of the past.
“I would like to personally apologise to those identified in our review and am committed to providing them with the support and compensation they deserve.
“We must do everything we can to ensure that nothing like this happens again – which is why I have asked an independent adviser to look at what lessons we can learn from Windrush.”
Ministers faced a furious backlash over the treatment of the Windrush generation – named after a ship that brought migrants to Britain from the Caribbean in 1948.
Commonwealth citizens who arrived before 1973 were automatically granted indefinite leave to remain under the 1971 Immigration Act.
But some of those who arrived in the years after the Second World War have been challenged over their status.
People who have been living legally in the UK for decades have lost their jobs, been denied access to NHS treatment, benefits and pensions, had their driving licences withdrawn and been warned they face deportation.