The Windrush scandal engulfing Theresa May’s United Kingdom government is a major self-made embarrassment because of its hostile environment immigration policy, according to Dr Desmond Jaddoo, co-chairman for the United Kingdom (UK) political pressure group Windrush Movement.
Jaddoo told The Gleaner that despite overtures of assistance from the Jamaican authorities, his concern is that mistrust of both the British and Jamaican governments has not served to help the cause.
“I am still concerned at the number of people who are still under the radar because of their fears. This became apparent during a recent ‘Lessons Learnt and Compensation Consultation’ meeting held in Birmingham, UK, with Queen’s Counsel Wendy Williams and Martin Forde,” he said.
Jaddoo, who was recently in Jamaica, said that there are many horror stories in how the immigration policy, which came into effect in 1973, has affected people.
“Many people have lost their jobs. One man lost his job in 2007 as he was unable to produce a British passport, while others have lost benefits, driver’s licences, and some, their homes,” stated Jaddoo.
Outspoken and proactive
The eight-month-old organi-sation, which was born out of the need to offer those affected under the Windrush scandal a way to air their grouses, has been the most outspoken and proactive group assisting those suffering under the Windrush scandal. The Windrush Movement (UK) has assisted hundreds of people who were unable to re-enter the UK or had been deported.
“It is essential that we use this opportunity to ensure that all of those who have suffered these injustices are issued with their appropriate documentation while ensuring that they are in a position to lodge their compensation claims when this is launched in January 2019,” Jaddoo said.
The compensation consultation, which is being spearheaded by Forde, QC, will end today.
KEEP THE FIRE LIT
Jaddoo will be representing the Windrush Movement at a National Windrush Conference tomorrow at Nottingham University in the UK, which will further examine the impact
of the hostile environment, while also scrutinising the conduct of the respective governments.
The conference will feature non-faith speakers as well as several guests on faith matters, along with activists and legal luminaries.
“If we fail to maintain pressure on the British government in regards to this most disgraceful issue, we would have become complacent and complicit. It, therefore, behoves us to keep the fire lit. At the same time, my plea to anyone in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean is genuine, and we are here to help,” said Jaddoo.