Windrush gen won't have to pass citizenship test or pay fee

Frederick Owens
April 24, 2018

"The contribution of the Windrush generation and their right to be in the United Kingdom is in no doubt and I deeply regret the situation that has arisen". Also, all charges related to the Windrush generation returning to England after taking up residence elsewhere will be taken up by the British government.

"It was never the intention that the Windrush generation should be disadvantaged by measures put in place to tackle illegal immigration", Rudd said.

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.

She also confirmed that a compensation scheme will be set up for people who have suffered loss or damage due to their inability to show they remained in Britain legally and to access services.

She said: "I'm personally committed to tackling illegal migration because I have seen in this job the bad impact has on some of the most vulnerable in our society".

She told MPs she wanted people to have the "formal status" they should have had all along, without having to pay naturalisation fees or pass any tests.

Some of these migrants have been asked to provide documentary evidence of their life in Britain they had never previously been required to keep, and in some cases denied rights, detained and threatened with deportation.

"Of course an apology is just the first step in putting right the wrongs that these people have suffered", she said.

Joanna Cherry, the SNP's justice and home affairs spokeswoman, advised Rudd to "have the decency to resign" and speak against the "disgraceful" immigration policies from the backbenches if she felt unable to take action to abandon those policies.

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"Many people now have documents, but the Home Office has set up a special team so anybody from the Windrush generation who is anxious should get in touch with the Home Office".

Home Secretary Amber Rudd promised to set up the reparation scheme "with urgency".

"She is behaving as if it is a shock to her that officials are implementing regulations in the way she intended them to be implemented", she said.

"I want to enable the Windrush generation to acquire the status they deserve - British citizenship, quickly, at low cost and with proactive assistance through the process".

"I hope that the measures I announced today (yesterday) will begin to reassure people as to their position and their valued status in this country", Rudd said.

"The home secretary has to understand that ultimately the buck stops with her", Abbott said.

"It is shameful this government has treated this generation in this way".

"They are from countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda", he said. "It is unfair. They were born under Empire".

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