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Man who lost job over immigration status has right to be in UK confirmed Man who lost job over immigration status has right to be in UK confirmed
(3 months later)
Michael Braithwaite, the special needs teaching assistant who lost his job after being classified as an illegal immigrant, collected documents on Wednesday confirming his right to be in the UK, papers which were expedited after media exposure of his case.Michael Braithwaite, the special needs teaching assistant who lost his job after being classified as an illegal immigrant, collected documents on Wednesday confirming his right to be in the UK, papers which were expedited after media exposure of his case.
Who are the Windrush generation?Who are the Windrush generation?
They are people who arrived in the UK after the second world war from Caribbean countries at the invitation of the British government. The first group arrived on the ship MV Empire Windrush in June 1948.They are people who arrived in the UK after the second world war from Caribbean countries at the invitation of the British government. The first group arrived on the ship MV Empire Windrush in June 1948.
What happened to them?What happened to them?
An estimated 50,000 people faced the risk of deportation if they had never formalised their residency status and did not have the required documentation to prove it. An estimated 50,000 people faced the risk of deportation if they had never formalised their residency status and did not have the required documentation to prove it. 
Why now?Why now?
It stems from a policy, set out by Theresa May when she was home secretary, to make the UK 'a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants'. It requires employers, NHS staff, private landlords and other bodies to demand evidence of people’s citizenship or immigration status.It stems from a policy, set out by Theresa May when she was home secretary, to make the UK 'a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants'. It requires employers, NHS staff, private landlords and other bodies to demand evidence of people’s citizenship or immigration status.
Why do they not have the correct paperwork and status?Why do they not have the correct paperwork and status?
Some children, often travelling on their parents’ passports, were never formally naturalised and many moved to the UK before the countries in which they were born became independent, so they assumed they were British. In some cases, they did not apply for passports. The Home Office did not keep a record of people entering the country and granted leave to remain, which was conferred on anyone living continuously in the country since before 1 January 1973.Some children, often travelling on their parents’ passports, were never formally naturalised and many moved to the UK before the countries in which they were born became independent, so they assumed they were British. In some cases, they did not apply for passports. The Home Office did not keep a record of people entering the country and granted leave to remain, which was conferred on anyone living continuously in the country since before 1 January 1973.
What is the government doing to resolve the problem? What did the government try and do to resolve the problem?
A new Home Office team was set up to ensure Commonwealth-born long-term UK residents would no longer find themselves classified as being in the UK illegally. But a month after one minister promised the cases would be resolved within two weeks, many remain destitute. A Home Office team was set up to ensure Commonwealth-born long-term UK residents would no longer find themselves classified as being in the UK illegally. But a month after one minister promised the cases would be resolved within two weeks, many remained destitute. In November 2018 home secretary Sajid Javid revealed that at least 11 Britons who had been wrongly deported had died. In April 2019 the government agreed to pay up to £200m in compensation.
Details of Braithwaite’s situation published in the Guardian last week attracted huge public condemnation and helped push the Windrush scandal into the headlines. Although he was relieved to have a temporary solution to his immigration problem, he said his difficulties had come close to destroying his life.Details of Braithwaite’s situation published in the Guardian last week attracted huge public condemnation and helped push the Windrush scandal into the headlines. Although he was relieved to have a temporary solution to his immigration problem, he said his difficulties had come close to destroying his life.
Braithwaite, who arrived in Britain from Barbados in 1961, had worked at a north London primary school for more than 15 years when a routine check on his immigration status revealed he did not have an up-to-date identity document. He was sacked despite the fact he has lived in the UK for more than 50 years.Braithwaite, who arrived in Britain from Barbados in 1961, had worked at a north London primary school for more than 15 years when a routine check on his immigration status revealed he did not have an up-to-date identity document. He was sacked despite the fact he has lived in the UK for more than 50 years.
Man living in UK for 56 years loses job over immigration papersMan living in UK for 56 years loses job over immigration papers
Getting the biometric card was “only half of what I wanted – it’s a only a temporary thing”.Getting the biometric card was “only half of what I wanted – it’s a only a temporary thing”.
“I’m glad that my story opened up the dysfunctionality of the Home Office. It has been a betrayal of my people. I feel very bitter still. People’s lives have been disrupted. My life has been turned upside down. It devastated me to the point of I was going to kill myself at one point.“I’m glad that my story opened up the dysfunctionality of the Home Office. It has been a betrayal of my people. I feel very bitter still. People’s lives have been disrupted. My life has been turned upside down. It devastated me to the point of I was going to kill myself at one point.
“Having someone take away 57 years of your life is terrible. It made me feel I’ve got no worth, no status nothing. They’ve taken it all away from me. I didn’t understand why. I almost fell apart with the stress.”“Having someone take away 57 years of your life is terrible. It made me feel I’ve got no worth, no status nothing. They’ve taken it all away from me. I didn’t understand why. I almost fell apart with the stress.”
He had always assumed he was British, having attended primary school and secondary school here, and having worked continuously since leaving school. He married in London and has three British children and five grandchildren.He had always assumed he was British, having attended primary school and secondary school here, and having worked continuously since leaving school. He married in London and has three British children and five grandchildren.
“I never applied for a British passport. We thought we were British,” he said.“I never applied for a British passport. We thought we were British,” he said.
Chai Patel, the legal policy director at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said: “Glad as we are the Home Office finally resolved Michael’s situation, it’s appalling that they appear to operate a system of appeal by Twitter. For the many who can’t get the injustices they suffer into the media, there is no such respite from the grinding, bureaucratic cruelty of the system.Chai Patel, the legal policy director at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said: “Glad as we are the Home Office finally resolved Michael’s situation, it’s appalling that they appear to operate a system of appeal by Twitter. For the many who can’t get the injustices they suffer into the media, there is no such respite from the grinding, bureaucratic cruelty of the system.
Whistleblowers contradict No 10 over destroyed Windrush landing cardsWhistleblowers contradict No 10 over destroyed Windrush landing cards
“The growing public anger about these injustices must be reflected, not in case-by-case defeats for an embarrassed Home Office, but a full and independent inquiry into the systemic failures of the Home Office, otherwise the Windrush generation will continue to suffer, as will many other groups of migrants wrongly targeted by the hostile environment.”“The growing public anger about these injustices must be reflected, not in case-by-case defeats for an embarrassed Home Office, but a full and independent inquiry into the systemic failures of the Home Office, otherwise the Windrush generation will continue to suffer, as will many other groups of migrants wrongly targeted by the hostile environment.”
Commonwealth immigrationCommonwealth immigration
Immigration and asylumImmigration and asylum
BarbadosBarbados
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