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'We need a public enquiry on the Windrush Scandal'

PICTURED: Rev Dr Desmond Jaddoo

THERE ARE some families affected by the recent Windrush scandal who may take comfort in home secretary Sajid Javid’s recent apology to Windrush Generation members who were wrongly removed from the UK or detained.

In August, Mr Javid 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.”

But apologies like this alone will not go far enough. This will not erase the hurt that has been done.

As Rev Dr Desmond Jaddoo says in this week’s front page story, there are people who have been affected by the debacle who are still under the radar and who are still too frightened to come forward in a bid to regularise their citizenship status.

Add to this the feeling of betrayal that Windrush Generation members, many now elderly, must feel after giving so much of their lives to a country that they thought was their home. They contributed by working tirelessly for the buses, British Rail, the NHS and other organisations to help rebuild Britain after the Second World War – and their culture has contributed to this, too.

As the campaigners behind the proposed National Windrush Day of Action claim, a public inquiry is essential.

The issues that the Windrush scandal has uncovered still need further investigation. Caribbean immigrants who came to this country after 1948 believed themselves to be British subjects.

When one examines the impact of the hostile environment policies, it is clear that immigrants from the West Indies are the ones who have been disproportionately affected by the misapplication of immigration laws.

There is a real need to find out why we have arrived at this point. The public inquiry that BAME Lawyers 4 Justice are pushing for will highlight the seeming discrimination that Caribbean immigrants have faced.

Importantly it will help to ensure that the appropriate legislative protection is permanently given to members of the Windrush Generation.

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