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May 8, 2018

Understanding ‘Windrush’ – Expert briefing

The APPG on Migration has published an expert briefing on the Windrush issue, providing legal and historical background to recent headlines.

UK residents who arrived in the UK before 1973 and who have a legitimate right to live in the UK have been caught up in the ‘hostile environment’ created by the 2014 and 2016 Immigration Acts, as they do not have documentation to prove their eligibility to access basic services. [The briefing] looks at the background history of these immigrants, their immigration status today and comment on some proposed solutions.

The briefing concludes that some key issues remain to be resolved:

1. There has been no specific statement on how Windrush-generation individuals affected by hostile environment measures can access compensation or citizenship. Yet some citizenship provisions announced would require amendments to existing law.

2. The government is proposing to review wrongful deportation decisions but there is no mention of people who may have been forced to leave without deportation measures coming into play.

3. The government “continues to propose to remove the right of migrants to access their personal data held by the Home Office.”

The briefing has been written by Alexander Finch of Fragomen LLP.