Windrush scheme citizenship grants pass 3,000 mark

More than 3,000 people have been granted British citizenship under a scheme established in the wake of the Windrush scandal, new statistics show.

From May last year, members of the Windrush generation, their UK-born children, and those who arrived in the country as minors have been able to apply for citizenship free of charge.

As of the end of December, the number of individuals granted citizenship stood at 3,406.

The figure passed the 3,000 mark after 585 people were given citizenship in the last two months of 2018.

Ministers faced a furious backlash over the treatment of members of the Windrush generation, named after a ship that brought migrants to Britain from the Caribbean in 1948.

Commonwealth citizens who arrived before 1973 were automatically granted indefinite leave to remain but many were not issued with any documents confirming their status.

A public outcry erupted after it emerged that long-term UK residents were denied access to services, held in detention or removed despite living legally in the country for decades.

The latest statistics, detailed in a letter from Home Secretary Sajid Javid to the Commons Home Affairs committee, show that as of New Year’s Eve:

-2,453 people had been given documentation confirming their right to remain in the UK

-The Home Office’s dedicated taskforce had refused 384 applications made under the Windrush Scheme

-Sixteen requests had been made for urgent support, of which 10 were under consideration, one had been approved, and five declined

-Officials had traced 131 individuals of 164 identified in a review of historical removals and detentions.

Windrush generation immigration controversy
The Empire Windrush (PA)

The Government has already apologised over 18 cases where people were considered most likely to have suffered “detriment” because their right to be in the UK was not recognised.

Ministers are also preparing to set up a compensation scheme for those affected by the failings.

Mr Javid said: “I continue to believe it is important that we take a cross-party approach which recognises the most important thing we can do is ensure the wrongs which some members of the Windrush generation have faced are put right.

“I can reassure members that my department remains entirely focused on righting the wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation.”

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