Apology for families of three dead Windrush migrants
The families of three Windrush migrants who died after they were removed from Britain are to receive a personal apology from the Home Secretary.
Sajid Javid will write to relatives of the three, who were identified as priority cases in the Government’s efforts to “right the wrongs” that occurred as a result of the scandal.
The Home Office said historical reviews into removals and detentions identified 18 people who it is believed could have been wrongfully removed or detained.
A spokeswoman for the department said: “Three of the 18 people have been confirmed as having died.
“The Home Secretary will be writing to the families of the deceased, as well as the other 15 people identified, to offer a personal apology.
“We are working closely with Caribbean High Commissioners and Governments to do this.”
Earlier this month, Mr Javid disclosed the findings of a review of nearly 12,000 historical records.
The analysis identified 164 members of the Windrush generation who may have been removed, detained or stopped at the border.
All of those flagged up are being put in contact with a specialist taskforce and directed to a compensation scheme.
But the Government is prioritising the 18 cases where the Home Office is deemed “most likely” to have acted wrongfully.
Eleven people voluntarily departed, with some having been served with immigration enforcement notices informing them they had no right to be in the UK.
In a further seven cases, people were detained and subsequently released without being removed.
Reports emerged on Thursday that three of the 18 died before officials were able to contact them to help them return to the UK.
Kamina Johnson-Smith, the Jamaican foreign minister, told the Guardian: “We have just received the information that they are dead. We have to find the families.”
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said the revelation “shames” the Government, adding: “The true scale of this scandal is still being revealed.”
Ministers faced a furious backlash over the treatment 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But some lost their jobs, were denied access to NHS treatment and had their driving licences withdrawn despite living in the UK legally for decades.
The Home Office said: “The experiences faced by some members of the Windrush generation are inexcusable.
“The Home Secretary and the Immigration Minister have said that it is their priority to right the wrongs that have occurred.”