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Lammy: Abject Failure That Windrush Citizens Homeless, Hungry

An apology from the British Government was viewed as the precursor to regularizing Windrush citizens. | Photo: Reuters FILE An apology from the British Government was viewed as the precursor to regularizing Windrush citizens. | Photo: Reuters FILE
Several members of the Windrush Generation remain homeless – with one being lured into an arrest – after promises were made to resolve immigration status following a recent scandal.

According to the Voice, dozens of people are still homeless, jobless and stateless. The report detailed that members of the Windrush Generation continue to struggle to secure health benefits and are now, additionally, fearful of being entrapped and arrested.

A constituent of Tottenham's Labour Member of Parliament David Lammy was held on a charge of handling stolen goods over two decades ago, after being invited to attend an appointment for which the Home Office made a request.

“It is yet another abject failure that Windrush citizens are being left homeless and hungry on the streets,” Lammy stressed. “I fought back tears for most of my constituency surgery last Friday hearing so many stories of depression, suicidal thoughts and exploitation.”

Chief executive of immigration charity Praxis, Sally Daghlian, added that: “It is not possible to quantify the number of people who have been made homeless. Many may have simply become part of the long-term homeless population, struggling to survive day to day. There is an urgent need for an outreach program to find people who may be homeless or being supported by others as a result of Windrush.”

Balvin Marshall, a Windrush citizen, told The Guardian he has been sleeping on park benches while awaiting an appointment from the British Home Office. “At this moment I have no address. Where I sleep tonight, I am yet to work out.” A second victim of the 'Windrush fallout', who is also waiting to be confirmed by the Home Office told the newspaper he, too, was living “hand-to-mouth,” while a third related total dependence on family members for basic support to survive each day.

“My constituent... is homeless, relying on food banks, friends and family to survive after having worked and paid taxes in a country he arrived, legally, to. His case needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency. The emotional distress is overwhelming,” Labour Party's Kate Osamor related about a Jamaican, who arrived in Britain in 1970 at the age of 11.

An apology from the British Government, specifically Prime Minister Theresa May, was viewed by many as the precursor to the regularizing of individuals as well as family members of those who initially arrived in the United Kingdom, on the Windrush vessel, over four decades ago.

One month after Minister Nadhim Zahawi's pledged that in two weeks all matters relating to the Windrush cases, including compensation, would be addressed, a large number of people remain homeless.

“We are determined to make sure our compensation scheme effectively addresses the issues the people of the Windrush generation have faced. Those affected have the opportunity to share their stories as part of our call for evidence, which will be the basis for a bespoke compensation scheme. We will listen and then put in place a scheme which meets their needs,” a spokesperson from the Home Office said.

Labour shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, has been continuously urging the government to urgently put in place a system for emergency payments.

  • Countries: United_Kingdom

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