In the last week many constituents have got in touch to express their anger and shame at the treatment of the Windrush generation by the Government, so I thought I would share my response here.
Thank you for contacting me about the unacceptable and shameful situation that many members of the Windrush Generation have been placed in by the Government. I signed the letter to the Home Secretary initiated by my Labour colleague David Lammy MP, but this was received shortly after it had been sent for publication, so unfortunately you won’t see my name on it.
These cases have arisen directly as a result of the ‘hostile environment’ policy introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary requiring documentation to be produced to access amongst other things, NHS services and home rental. It is damning legacy of her time leading the Home Office and her initial refusal this week to meet Commonwealth leaders to discuss the concerns of those affected was inexplicable.
It is representative of the approach that the Home Office has taken since the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government in 2010 and subsequent Conservative Governments, to require Home Office staff to adopt a default approach of suspicion to the vast majority of immigration and visa applications and issues in my experience. I have a large caseload of visa and immigration matters for constituents and my office is in repeated contact with the Home Office on a daily basis trying to resolve this casework. The service is dysfunctional, unacceptable and I have repeatedly raised concerns and complaints in Parliament about Home Office policy and implementation.
I was in the debate to hear David Lammy give an exceptionally powerful speech and I am pleased that our pressure (alongside the excellent journalism in The Guardian exposing this issue) has resulted in immediate policy changes by the Home Secretary. However, they do not go far enough and there have since been further revelations about critical documents relevant and helpful to Windrush families being destroyed by the Home Office when Theresa May became Home Secretary in 2010.
I received a letter from the Home Secretary on Monday night confirming that there had been cases of people being subjected to removal action and detention and she has said that these are being urgently investigated but we do not yet know all the effects of this scandal and I can assure you that I will continue to keep pressure on the Government to ensure that they are held accountable and that all the people affected are given every assistance and financial recompense.
If you are living in Cardiff Central and are having issues, delays or difficulties with your visa application or asylum claim I hold a weekly immigration clinic, every Wednesday from 11am to midday to provide help and advice. You can find the details here
Below is David Lammy MP’s letter and the letter I have received from the Home Secretary on the issue.