Windrush Compensation – too little, too late

Read Time 1:13 Minutes

It was Windrush Scandal back in April 2018 that led the UKVI Immigration apologise for the deportation and threats made to those who came from the Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971.  The ship known as MV Empire Windrush brought workers to the UK from Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, and the other islands.  These workers were desperately needed to fill the labour shortage in the UK post war.  The home Office promised that they would all be given permanent stay I the UK but kept no records or issued paperwork.  At the time these countries were UK Colonies so many already thought they were British.

Over the years the UKVI started to detain and removal those who had come and their family members.  The Scandal broke in April 2018 with an enquiry set up.

It was in April 2019 that a compensation scheme was set up.  The deadline to make an application is April 2023.  Large numbers applied and were recognised and given citizenship.

Campaigners stated that the compensation came too late and is far less in comparison to what individuals had suffered.  Some were deported, others were made homelessness or denied access to education.  Many were labelled as illegal immigrants denied access to work, the NHS and hand to work cash in hand to survive and support their families. An average claim would take 14 months to process.

The BBC reported some of those who were affected:

Anthony Williams – suffered from a bad mouth infection in 2014, saying: “The only way I could get rid of it was to start extracting my own teeth. It took about three months to pull most of my teeth out.”

Nathaniel Blake – who died in Jamaica in 2010. He was not allowed back in the UK after a family holiday. Ms Bell said he later lost his sight and was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but the family was unable to afford the appropriate medical care there.

Windrush is commemorated on 22 June each year and even featured in the London 2012 Olympic ceremony.

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