Windrush Victim Falsely Threatened With Forced Return To Jamaica In Recent Years, Report Says | Windrush scandal
The Home Office made repeated mistakes which led to a man who had lived in the UK for more than 50 years to be classified as an illegal immigrant and threatened with arrest, jail and deportation, the ombudsperson found parliamentary.
The latest official report critical of the department’s handling of the Windrush scandal detailed how former heavy truck driver Rupert Everett died in 2019, aged 74, without receiving an apology or compensation of the government.
His daughters said he was upset to see his passport confiscated by immigration officials in 2016, and that he was terrified of being forcibly returned to Jamaica, a country he did not had visited only twice since leaving in 1962, at the age of 19.
Mediator Rob Behrens, who was tasked with investigating the case after failed attempts to file a complaint through the official complaints mechanism, said: âA beloved father and grandfather have passed by. the last years of his life in severe depression and anxiety because he was wrongly prosecuted. and threatened by Immigration Enforcement.
âUK Visas and Immigration has failed to meet its own standards. He should recognize the distress he has caused and make sure that cases like this do not happen again. “
Everett’s daughter Fiona said her father had withdrawn and isolated after the Home Office told him he was an immigration offender. âWe did not have an explanation or an apology. It’s not one person messed up, it’s five departments, âshe said.
âMy dad couldn’t wait to spend more time with his family. Instead, he was told he was going to be deported from this country. He went from being an outgoing family man to becoming depressed and isolating himself from his family. I’m glad the ombudsman’s investigation revealed that my father was treated appallingly by the Home Office, but I’m sorry he isn’t alive to read the report.
Sukhdeep Singh, a social worker with the Greater Manchester Immigration Assistance Unit who has helped more than 40 Windrush victims, said it was one of the worst cases he had encountered because Everett had clear documentary evidence of his right to be in the UK, but officials ignored the evidence.
Everett was rejected by five units of the Home Office: the Northwestern Immigration Enforcement Department, the unit responsible for revoking driver’s licenses, the department responsible for issuing cards biometrics, the nationality department and the complaints section, he said. “The Home Office has shown a complete lack of attention to him as an individual,” he said.
The Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman provides an independent complaints handling service for grievances that have not been resolved by UK government departments. The report concluded that immigration law enforcement officials should not have told Everett he was in the UK illegally and missed opportunities to redress the situation.
âIt is particularly sad that the last years of [Everettâs] life were characterized by a painful struggle to validate his right to stay in a country where he had the right to live. The injustice caused to him by the maladministration that we identified was extremely serious, âthe report said.
He recommends that the Home Office improve the handling of complaints within its immigration law enforcement department and calls on the ministry to apologize and provide financial recourse to the family.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said: âThe victims of the Windrush scandal have suffered appalling treatment and we are determined to right this wrong. We review the Ombudsman’s findings and offer our sincere condolences to Mr. Everett’s loved ones for their loss.