Jamaica Observer / THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has referred 30 cases related to the Windrush immigration scandal, which has affected scores of families, to the British High Commission, State Minister Pearnel Charles Jr has said. Speaking at the Sixth Biennial Jamaican Diaspora UK Conference last Saturday, Charles Jr said that of the 30 cases, 20 were as a result of advertisements that were placed in the press and on social media. He added that so far two people on this list were granted visas to travel to the United Kingdom.
Charles Jr said that the ministry, through the Consular Affairs Department and the Jamaican High Commission in London, continue to actively monitor developments to communicate its responses and advice to nationals.
“The ministry has consulted with stakeholders, including the British High Commission in Kingston, the National Organisation of Deported Migrants, Open Heart Shelter in Montego Bay, and Open Arms Shelter in Kingston, in order to identify individuals who may have been deported and are eligible for their cases to be reviewed,” he said.
He urged those affected by the Windrush scandal to make contact with the ministry in order to be better informed about how to pursue their cases. He also used the occasion to pay tribute, on the behalf of the Government of Jamaica, to the Windrush generation for their “bravery, endurance and tenacity”.
The Windrush generation, named after the ship that took the first group of West Indian immigrants to England in 1948, was invited to work in Britain after World War II.
They received indefinite leave to remain, but many who later failed to get their papers in order have been targeted by immigration laws intended to create a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants.
In the meantime, Charles Jr said that the ministry has secured the continued commitment of UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid in resolving the Windrush problem and that this pledge was made to him by Javid during in a meeting held yesterday at the UK Home Office.
According to the minister, the home secretary advised that based on the commitment, the work of the Commonwealth task force will be ongoing and the waiver of fees will continue indefinitely for the Windrush generation, pre-1973. Legislation has also been drafted to change the law to introduce the Windrush Settlement Scheme, which will streamline the process utilising a single form.