Windrush scandal: More ‘heartbreaking’ cases emerge
Labour MP David Lammy, who has led criticism of ministers over the fiasco, said the scale of the crisis is ‘unfathomable’.
The Home Office is facing fresh anger over the Windrush scandal after “heartbreaking” new cases emerged.
Labour MP David Lammy, a prominent figure in exposing the fiasco, reported that his office had received six further cases before midday on Tuesday.
In one, a man who arrived as a boy from Jamaica in 1964 was warned he faces removal from the UK despite having official paperwork dating back decades.
Writing on Twitter, Mr Lammy said: “I am disgusted and appalled by the case I have just received.
“My constituent arrived from Jamaica in 1964 aged 6. He has shown me his letter from the Home Office telling him that he will be deported despite having a National Insurance card from 1974 & NHS documentation from 1964.”
I have heard from 6 constituents already this morning with Windrush cases and it is not even lunchtime. Each individual case is a shocking indictment of this government and heartbreakingly sad. The scale of this crisis is unfathomable.— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) April 24, 2018
Mr Lammy posted an image of a “notice of removal” letter which tells the recipient they are a “person with no leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom”.
It adds: “You are specifically considered a person who has been unable to show evidence of lawful entry because you cannot produce the passport on which you claim to have entered the UK.”
Mr Lammy called on Home Secretary Amber Rudd and immigration minister Caroline Nokes to “sort this today”.
He added: “Why is my constituent being treated like an illegal immigrant despite providing documentation from 1964?
“This is an outrageous miscarriage of justice. Grant him his citizenship and passport.”
The MP for Tottenham said he had had six Windrush cases come in and “it is only half past 11”.
Mr Lammy said: “Each case is heartbreaking and an utterly shameful indictment of this government. The scale of this crisis is absolutely unfathomable.”
Controversy erupted after it emerged long-term residents who settled in the UK from the late 1940s to the early 1970s had wrongly been identified as illegal immigrants.
Ministers faced a furious backlash over the treatment of the Windrush generation – named after the first ship that brought them to Britain in 1948.
People who had arrived in the UK before 1973 were automatically granted indefinite leave to remain but the Home Office did not keep a record of those allowed to stay or any documentation confirming their status.
While many of those who arrived have taken British citizenship or have official documents proving their status, others have struggled to source paperwork demonstrating they are lawfully resident.
On Monday Ms Rudd announced an emergency package of measures designed to resolve the crisis.
Under the plans, thousands of people who arrived from the Commonwealth will be offered the chance to obtain British citizenship free of charge and without the requirement to take language tests.
A major exercise has been launched to check no-one has been wrongly deported and the Home Office is preparing a compensation scheme for those affected by the failings.
Ms Rudd will be questioned about the scandal by MPs on the Commons Home Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The Home Secretary has been clear, this is about people who have built their lives here in the UK and contributed so much to our society.
“We don’t want them to feel unwelcome or to be in any doubt about their right to remain here.
“The vast majority will already have documentation that proves their right to be here. For those that don’t, we have established a new dedicated team to quickly help them get the documentation they need and ensure this is resolved as soon as possible.
“We’ve also set up a webpage and have been speaking to charities, community groups and High Commissioners to ensure advice and reassurance is provided to those affected.”
In relation to the case highlighted by Mr Lammy, the department said it was attempting to get in touch with the individual to discuss options and next steps.