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We will hold UK gov't to Windrush promises, says Ramocan

Published:Tuesday | October 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM

George Ramocan, the Jamaican High Commissioner to London, says that his office is willing to hold the Theresa May-led United Kingdom Government to promises made to investigate wrongs committed by the state against persons of Jamaican heritage and to provide financial redress in legitimate cases for that caught-up in the Windrush generation scandal.

Speaking at an executive management and heads of diplomatic mission conference in New Kingston today, he said the plan to compensate those who were wrongfully denied services under British laws must be carried through to the end.

“Where we are at [now] is to ensure that what is promised is delivered, and the way in which we do this is to have regular interactions with the Home Office as well as to have reports from the Home Office on just what the progress is,” Ramacan stated.

He said, however, that what’s slowing down the process is the pace at which those who say they were disenfranchised are coming forward.

“Where we want more input is from the persons who are affected to come forward because you cannot relate concerns unless it is known.

“I am not speaking of persons only in the UK, I am also talking to those in Jamaica, who have experienced in some way deportation, not of the criminal kind, but deported out of the zeal of the UK Government to get individuals out of the country who were not regarded as properly documented,” the top Jamaican diplomat in the UK said.

The Windrush generation scandal broke in April.

‘Windrushers’ comprises British citizens who went to the UK from the Commonwealth as children following the Second World War and whose rights were guaranteed in the Immigration Act of 1971.

These persons were named the Windrush generation after British ship the Empire Windrush, which arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex with 492 Caribbean passengers in 1948.

However, under new immigration laws, these people were forced to prove continuous residence in the UK since 1973, something that turned out to be almost impossible for those who have not kept detailed records.

As a result, some were denied access to state healthcare, made redundant from their jobs, refused access to bank accounts, and even threatened with deportation.

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