Conduct an Independent Public Inquiry into the Windrush scandal
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This petition calls for an independent Public Inquiry into the Windrush scandal and related injustices caused by racist immigration laws and policies.
We know that those targeted have experienced trauma, pain and distress with continuing negative detrimental impacts which run through multiple generations not just the Windrush generation. This is on top of living with the negative legacies of enslavement and / or colonialism and deepening institutional racism impacting on access to services, employment and education.
In referring to the Windrush Scandal we include all those from Commonwealth / former Commonwealth countries who migrated to the UK , including the Windrush generation plus their multi-generational families who have been targeted.
I am the co-founder and national chair of BARAC UK and this petition is supported by BAME Lawyers for Justice which is an umbrella group of race equality and Windrush justice organisations and campaigns.
The scope of the Public Inquiry should be to investigate all aspects of racist immigration laws and policies in the UK and the negative and detrimental impacts on individuals, families and communities. The Inquiry should include but but not limited to the following;
- The reasons, causes and impacts of targeting people who were invited to come to the UK to work and live for detrimental treatment, including detentions, deportations , exile from the UK .
- The numbers of individuals and families impacted, how they have been impacted and who was responsible.
- This should include the number of detentions, length of detentions, reasons given by the Government and the physical, psychological, social and economical impacts on those directly targeted but also their families, loved ones and communities.
- The number of people deported, reasons given by the Government, the length of time deported, how they were deported, for example by air, sea, mass charter flight or commercial flight.
- The number of people who left the UK for short periods including holidays, but were refused entry back to the UK and how long they were exiled for.
- The numbers of people who left the UK without being deported because they felt they had no other choice.
- The numbers of children, grandchildren and other family members of the Windrush generation who have been targeted under racist immigration policies.
- The impacts of being detained, deported, exiled and / or separated, on individuals, their loved ones, families and communities.
- How many people lost their jobs and homes and who were denied access to essential services such as health services, education and training and benefits and the impact of this on the individuals and their families and loved ones.
- How many people deported have not been allowed to or were unable to return to the UK, and the impact of this on them, their families and loved ones.
- How many people have died as a result of being targeted including those who have taken their own lives.
- How many people have been criminalised by virtue of their immigration status.
- How many young people have been threatened with or actually detained and / or deported under Operation Nexus.
- How many Commonwealth armed forces members have been detained and /or deported.
- How many families have been separated and the impacts of this.
- How many people born in the UK have been targeted for detention and deportation.
It should identify:
- The extent and scope of the psychological, physical, social and financial detriment, pain, trauma and stress suffered by those targeted and their loved ones and families and likely detrimental impacts on future generations.
- Who is responsible for the whole and elements of the Windrush scandal, hostile environment and racist immigration policies.
- The authorisation and reasons for destroying of landing cards.
- The barriers and limitations in accessing legal advice and representation due to cost.
- The extent to which the Windrush Scandal was driven by institutional and direct or indirect racism.
- The manner and length of time taken to carry out government consultations.
- The barriers and length of time in accessing , applying for and obtaining legal advice in order to lodge a claim for the Windrush compensation scheme
We call for an independent public inquiry to determine the full extent of injustice, racism and criminalisation caused by the Windrush Scandal, hostile environment, racist immigration laws and policies and related injustice and racism.
This should include an independent panel in which those impacted and the public can have faith and trust.
We believe that responsibility and accountability must be part of the process of working towards full justice and reparations for all those impacted.
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