Windrush generation to be granted citizenship papers
Home Secretary attempts to draw line under scandal after calls to resign
The Home Secretary has said the Windrush generation will be granted full citizenship and compensation, as the Government attempts to lay the matter to rest.
Amber Rudd told the Commons that Caribbean immigrants and their families who settled between 1948 and 1971 would have their citizenship application fees waived, would not be required to take an English language or general knowledge test and would receive compensation.
Although they were regarded as British citizens at the time, they did not have the paperwork to prove it.
While welcoming the news as a “first step toward righting the historic wrongs done to the Windrush generation”, the chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Satbir Singh, said: “By placing yet another sticking plaster over its failures, the Government has said and done nothing to indicate that it is taking the root causes of this crisis seriously.”
Rudd’s U-turn comes after a letter was leaked revealing ministers were aware of risk to the Windrush generation when immigration reforms were made law.
Written in May 2016 by a Home Office minister, the letter “fuelled the row about whether Ms Rudd should resign”, says the Daily Mail.
Yet despite announcing a sweeping package of compensation and new citizenship rights, Rudd has continued to try to deflect blame for the scandal, arguing that “successive governments” introduced measures to combat illegal immigration, reports Sky News.
The Financial Times says her stance “immediately came in for criticism”, with shadow home secretary Diane Abbott insisting the problems facing the Windrush generation were a predicted effect of the 2014 Immigration Act, pushed through by Theresa May.