Windrush Debacle / EU Citizens Problems Come Brexit : When Used Up , Throw Away / Deport ???

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Windrush scandal : Sajid Javid apologises to woman wrongly denied help.

The home secretary has apologised to a 41-year-old woman who faced deportation and eviction after being wrongly refused help by the Windrush scheme.

Willow Sims, who moved to the UK from the US aged four, lost proof of her indefinite leave to remain when she was taken into foster care.

Sajid Javid said he was "concerned" by the mother-of-two's story.

Ms Sims said she hoped the Home Office would find a solution "so that nobody has to not exist ever again".

She worked as a teaching assistant until last year, when she was subjected to a routine DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check by her employers.

Without the necessary documents, she was unable to prove her immigration status, and subsequently lost her right to work, and her access to healthcare and benefits.

She is now thousands of pounds in debt and reliant on food banks.

Any carer either with Caribbean born parents or grandparents care to add their thoughts to this thread ?

Over 40,000 describing themselves as carers in London alone ... 100,000+ nationwide ? ... Census 2011.
Home Office accused of " Aggravating " Windrush suffering after admitting only one person helped by hardship scheme.

Lawyers say people caught up in scandal have fallen into destitution due to " Shocking " delays.

Ministers have been accused of “aggravating” the suffering of Windrush citizens after admitting only one person has been helped by a hardship scheme set up for those affected.

In the government’s latest Windrush update, Sajid Javid said that of 16 people who had requested support under the special hardship fund, created in December, five had been declined, 10 were still under consideration and just one had been approved.

Lawyers warned that as a result of delays and difficulty receiving pay-outs, people who had been identified as having been wrongly targeted by immigration controls had fallen into destitution.

Yvette Cooper, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said the fact that the fund had only helped one person was “shocking” and urged the home secretary to urgently review the operation of the scheme so that people are not “further let down”.

In one case, a woman who was brought back to the UK after being wrongly removed from the UK was told by the Home Office that she should go to a charity shop to get a fridge and a cooker.
Windrush generation will not lose benefits after government U-turn.

Claimants given compensation will still get support, documents show, but uncertainty remains.


The government is expected to introduce new regulations to prevent members of the Windrush generation losing out on the financial support they are entitled to in a benefits U-turn, it has been disclosed.

In response to the threat of legal action, officials have stated in internal documents that regulations will be introduced “in due course” to ensure those currently receiving means-tested benefits do not lose out on them if they get compensation payouts over the Home Office’s “hostile environment” rules.

However, despite the documents seen by the Guardian, no new regulations have yet been published, meaning continued uncertainty for those who might be affected.

Lawyers have expressed concern that people from the Windrush generation entitled to compensation because of their treatment by the Home Office could be “punished twice” under the current benefit rules and have called on the government to announce the changes publicly.

As the current rules stand, some could lose means-tested benefits payments if they benefit from the Windrush compensation scheme announced last month.

Solicitor Jane Ryan from Bhatt Murphy, who is representing several Windrush people, said: “Windrush claimants have already suffered as a consequence of the discriminatory hostile environment policies; they should not be placed in a worse position for seeking redress.

It is welcome that the Home Office has clarified its position but until the regulations are public there remains a risk that Windrush claimants supported by means-tested benefits will be unfairly treated. The government needs to publish the regulations as soon as possible.”

There are some parallels with the Grenfell compensation scheme where DWP came under pressure to allow survivors to continue to access benefits irrespective of payouts.
EU citizens in UK at risk of Windrush-style catastrophe, say MPs.

Home affairs select committee urges government to change rules of EU settlement scheme.

The government has been urged by MPs to urgently change its policy on EU citizens in the country if it is to avert a “Windrush-style catastrophe” in the years after Brexit.

Politicians on the influential home affairs select committee said they had serious concerns about the design of the settlement scheme for EU citizens, launched by the Home Office two months ago.

There are an estimated 3.8 million EU citizens in the UK and those who want to remain after Brexit are obliged to apply for settled status by June 2021 in the event of a deal or December 2020 in the event of no deal.

Committee members said the design of the scheme meant many EU citizens were at risk of forfeiting their rights to remain after the deadline. “The prospect of a Windrush-style catastrophe happening to over 3 million EU citizens who have made the UK their home in good faith is deeply troubling,” the committee said in a report, EU Settlement Scheme.

The report comes as new statistics show 750,000 people have applied for settled status since the scheme opened, among them 100,000 of the estimated 1 million Polish people in the UK.

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, said the numbers were “immensely encouraging”.

After an investigation and witnesses including Javid, the committee’s report concluded the only way to ensure EU citizens are guaranteed to retain their rights is to legislate.

“We therefore call on the government to protect in law the rights of EU citizens in the UK. The government should guarantee in law that any EU citizens living in the UK before Brexit are legal residents of the UK and are able to continue to live and work as they have done until now,” says the report.

The Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs the committee, said: “The government’s current plans for the EU settlement scheme show they are not learning the lessons from the Windrush scandal.

“The problems faced by the Windrush generation showed how easily individuals can fall through gaps in the system through no fault of their own and how easily lives can be destroyed if the government gets this wrong.”

Stuart McDonald, the SNP member of the committee, said that under the scheme “too many people, including children and vulnerable individuals, risk falling through the gaps and not accessing the scheme at all … The warning signs are there, now the government must take action.”

He also said the government needed a printed document and not a digital system to enable EU citizens to deal with landlords, employers and officials at airports and ports.

“People also need hard copy documents, not just an unfamiliar digital system,” he said.

Echoing the criticisms of campaigners, the committee said EU citizens should not have to apply to remain but just have to declare they are in the country.

This would bring the approach into line with other EU countries, where people are merely required to notify a town hall of their arrival and their address.

“The government has chosen to implement a system which does not grant status to eligible people but requires them to apply for it and the home secretary told us that EU citizens are only entitled to the status which they are able to evidence.

“We disagree with this. We believe the EU citizens legally resident in the UK [before Brexit] should have their rights protected and their entitlement to remain enshrined in law,” says the report.

Witnesses told the report “there is another way forward” similar to the treatment of Commonwealth citizens who had their immigration status formalised in the 1970s.

As Colin Yeo, an immigration barrister, told them: “You just pass a law saying ‘You are lawful. We will sort out the difficulties later, as and when they arise.’”

The issue over the government approach to EU citizens came to the fore earlier this week when Michael Gove pledged to support calls by Tory backbencher Alberto Costa for a declaratory system. He has also offered free British citizenship to EU citizens.

Ministers faced a furious backlash over the treatment of the Windrush generation after it emerged long-term UK residents were denied access to cancer treatment and other services, held in detention or removed, despite living legally in the country for decades.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We disagree with the home affairs select committee’s assessment of the scheme, which is performing well with more than 600,000 applications received by the end of April and hundreds of thousands of people already being granted status.

“The scheme protects the rights of EU citizens in UK law and gives them a secure digital status which, unlike a physical document, cannot be lost, stolen or tampered with. A declaratory system – that means EU citizens are not required to obtain status and evidence of this – risks causing confusion especially for the most vulnerable, and could in years to come find people struggling to prove their status.

“We have taken great care to learn from the experience of the Windrush generation. It’s part of the reason why there are 200 assisted digital locations across the UK to help EU citizens apply, dedicated staff in our Settlement Resolution Centre and £9m available for 57 organisations across the UK to support an estimated 200,000 vulnerable people to apply.”
Home secretary apologises to more Windrush citizens – but campaigners warn many victims still suffering.

Sajid Javid says their treatment has been “ Completely unacceptable ” and promised compensation.

A snippet :

The home secretary has apologised to more Windrush victims as his department revealed that 6,400 people have been granted status under the dedicated scheme.

Fourteen months after the scandal erupted, Sajid Javid has sent apology letters to another 49 victims – taking the total number to 67 – saying their treatment has been “completely unacceptable” and that they would receive support and access to the compensation scheme.

But charities and immigration lawyers are worried that a large number of people affected have either not come forward due to a lack of support, are still waiting for decisions on their case due to delays, or have been wrongly refused under the scheme.

Figures published by the Home Office in its latest Windrush update show nearly one in five applications – or 457 out of 2,467 – have taken longer than the target two-week decision time, with lawyers telling of numerous cases which have taken more than six months and in one case a year.

There is also concern over the high proportion of overseas applications which have not been accepted, with new figures showing 649 out-of-country applications have been declined, while just 109 have been granted.