Only 13 Windrush victims given emergency support

Only 13 Windrush victims given emergency support

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Only 13 of the 91 Windrush victims who applied for aid have been granted emergency support by the UK government by the end of April, a year after the government apologised for its “appalling” mistake in classifying thousands of legal UK residents as illegal immigrants.

According to London-based newspaper, the Guardian, many of those affected were pushed into destitution because of the combined effect of being forced out of their jobs, and being told they were ineligible for benefits and healthcare.

Even though the UK government agreed to launch a hardship fund at the end of last year, many victims are said to be facing eviction, and visits from bailiffs.

Over 6,400 have been given documents confirming that they are living in the UK legally, of whom 4,200 have been granted British citizenship, according to the latest update of the work of the Commonwealth Citizens Taskforce, the Guardian reported.

Due to officials wrongfully misinforming the Home Office that Windrush generation people were in the UK illegally, a number of people lost their benefits or driving licences, and letters were sent to their employers advising them to conduct a “right to work” check.

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, is said to have written another 46 letters of apology to those wrongly sanctioned as a result of this data-sharing exercise.

“I have been very clear that the experiences of some members of the Windrush generation [have] been completely unacceptable, which is why I am committed to right the wrongs of successive governments,” he is quoted as saying.

Officials however have still failed to make contact with 16 people who were wrongly removed by the Home Office; at least 12 people who were mistakenly removed died before officials were able to apologise to them.

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