The targeting and detaining of undocumented Caribbean migrants who (it must be not be forgotten) were invited to work in the UK, and have been living, working, raising families, paying taxes and collecting pensions since the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush in 1948, is grossly unconscionable, divisive and utterly disgraceful.
For the Home Office to claim it does not know how many people have been deported only exacerbates matters. It is also utterly shameful that the Home Office destroyed the arrival cards recording the UK arrival dates of Windrush immigrants. I wonder if this is what was meant when the home secretary said that the Home Office ‘sometimes loses sight of the individual’?
I doubt very much that the Home Office’s 20-person team will be able to deal with the avalanche of matters that will now come before it from the UK’s Caribbean community. An apology from the home secretary and the prime minister is certainly not enough, especially when it was Theresa May’s act of policy when home secretary to deliberately create a hostile environment for all immigrants.
Unless there is a further U-turn, the UK government will not offer those threatened with detention, unlawfully detained or deported any form of compensation for their ordeal. Many had jobs that were lost through no fault of their own. It is only right that the Caribbean community in the UK faces no further injustice by being denied compensation.
Darren Sylvester, Founder, DJS Law Solicitors, Hertfordshire