United Kingdom citizenship and language tests waived for Windrush generation

United Kingdom citizenship and language tests waived for Windrush generation

Rudd also announced that the Home Office would be establishing a new scheme to compensate those affected, and said that the scheme would be independently run.

Ms Rudd confirmed that people who had suffered hardship as a result of Home Office errors would be paid compensation.

The Home Secretary admitted that steps introduced since the 1980s have had an "unintended and sometimes devastating" impact on people from the Windrush generation who are here legally but have struggled to get documentation to prove their status.

Earlier, during debate in the House of Lords, former children's television presenter Floella Benjamin branded the Windrush scandal "a matter of national shame".

Reports have emerged of people losing their jobs and homes, and being denied access to health care, benefits and pensions because they could not produce the correct paperwork required under immigration controls brought in by Theresa May as Home Secretary in 2014.

Ms Rudd said nine cases had been settled by a special Home Office team set up to deal with the crisis while 84 individuals had had their documents processed.

At the halfway point in the search, none had been identified, but the Home Secretary said the information would also be independently audited.

Contributed     The Empire Windrush brought the first post-war Caribbean migrants to London. It docked at Tilbury on 22 June 1948.
            Contributed     John Bassie
Contributed The Empire Windrush brought the first post-war Caribbean migrants to London. It docked at Tilbury on 22 June 1948. Contributed John Bassie

While the public expected immigration rules to be enforced, she said, it had never been the intention for a crackdown on illegal immigration to affect those who were "British in all but their legal status".

He went on to ask: "What more can the Home Secretary do not only to address the legitimate grievances of the Windrush generation, but to prevent this from being repeated with legal migration from elsewhere, be it the sub-continent or the European Union?"

The "community grounding" at the Clement Payne Cultural Centre on Crumpton Street, The City, was held to discuss what the organizers described as the "systematic and racist infringement of the civil and human rights" of the Windrush generation. "The Home Secretary has to understand that ultimately the buck stops with her".

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, admitted the "state has let these people down" but rebuffed calls to resign over the mistakes which have left long-term United Kingdom residents being turned away from hospitals and even threatened with deportation.

"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.

The fees and the documentation had been particularly hard to provide, she said, and she was "so happy" with this move - but still felt annoyed by the saga.

Those behind the scheme, which was revealed in November, say that they hope that 5,500 global nurses would eventually be recruited from former colonial countries such as India and the Caribbean.

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