22 June 2021 will mark the fourth national Windrush Day and 73 years since the SS Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex in 1948 carrying the first Caribbean migrants to the UK to help re-build Britain after the Second World War.
The Windrush Scandal was a situation created when many of the Windrush Generation suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of immigration legislation because they couldn’t provide the paperwork to prove they had the right to stay in the UK. Either because they’d never been given any paperwork by previous governments in the first place, or because the government had destroyed their own copies of paperwork and suddenly put the onus on individuals to ‘prove’ their right to stay.
Many West Indians have been wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights while they struggled to provide the information required by government. Some in the “hostile environment” created by the government policy are still fighting for justice in 2021.