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93 Indians caught up in UK's 'Windrush' immigration scandal

Press Trust of India  |  London 

The true scale of Indians affected by the immigration scandal emerged today as the released latest figures of Commonwealth nationals caught up in the row over their citizenship rights.

As many as 93 Indian nationals were provided with documentation to formalise their rights to live and work in the UK by an emergency taskforce set up by the Office to deal with cases of migrants who arrived in the UK before immigration rules became more stringent in 1973.

While the majority of the 2,125 migrants' cases solved by the taskforce were nationals, this is the first time a picture has emerged for the number of Indians affected.

We have made it clear that it is not acceptable that those of the generation have been impacted negatively, and this government has apologised, UK said in the

It is an important point that we must provide reassurance and ensure that as many people as possible make contact with the taskforce. That is why we have been working closely with communities to make sure it is very clear that the taskforce has an attitude of helping individuals, she said.

The 'scandal' emerged as UK-based Jamaicans faced forced deportations due to lack of documentary evidence that they had the legal right to be in Britain.

The Windrush generation refers to citizens of former British colonies who arrived before 1973, when the rights of such Commonwealth citizens to live and work in Britain were substantially curtailed. While a large proportion of them were of Jamaican/descent, they also included Indians and other South Asians, said Rob McNeil, of the

In a letter dated July 10, informed the of the influential House of (HASC) that the Home Office has issued documentation to 2,125 people who contacted the taskforce hotline between April and June this year, confirming Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or No Time Limit (NTL) visas for them.

Indians at 93 such cases formed the third-largest group, after countries like (1,014) and (207). The others include (88), (85), and 638 were from countries classified as 'Others'.

Under a Windrush Scheme launched by the in May, many of these applicants, their children born in the UK and those who arrived in the UK as minors are able to apply for British citizenship, or various other immigration routes, free of charge.

In June, 584 individuals were recorded as being granted citizenship through the scheme.

In his letter to HASC chair, Yvette Cooper, Javid? said his department was also looking at the best ways of moving away from the so-called hostile environment to ensure there is no adverse impact on migrants who have a legal right to be in the UK.

It is very disappointing that we still do not have information about the number of people wrongly detained, and that the Home Office has still not managed to make contact with the majority of those who were wrongfully deported or removed, said Cooper, in response to the latest data.

The group referred to as the 'Windrush generation' relates to a ship named 'Windrush' which brought Jamaican workers to UK shores in 1948. The scandal emerged as many who arrived as children around that period have been struggling to access or even threatened with deportation because they did not possess any documents to prove they arrived before 1973.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 20:05 IST