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Home Office criticised for not contacting deportees

DEPORTATIONS: Immigration minister Caroline Nokes has said Commonwealth citizens can visit the Home Office website or call the Windrush taskforce hotline for information

THE HOME Office has come under fire again for how it is dealing with the Windrush immigration scandal after it was revealed that 49 people deported from the UK to Commonwealth countries have not yet been contacted by the Windrush taskforce.

The deportees were removed to Ghana and Nigeria in 2017, prior to the Windrush scandal, and have not been approached by the Home Office.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, said: “Clearly ministers have learnt nothing from the Windrush scandal.

“It doesn’t seem much to ask for the Government to tell people they’ve kicked out of the country that the Windrush taskforce exists.”

Lucas said she will be asking the Home Office why it “made no attempt to inform Commonwealth deportees about the Windrush taskforce, which could help identify their status and rights”.

Immigration minister Caroline Nokes wrote a response to Lucas after she posed a parliamentary question in relation to the situation.

In her answer she said that Commonwealth citizens who wished to check their status could visit the Home Office website or call the Windrush taskforce hotline.

Nokes wrote: "The Home Office has not made a specific attempt to inform those 49 people of the Windrush taskforce.

"The Home Office announcements relating to Commonwealth citizens can be found at www.gov.uk/windrush.

"This website is regularly updated with information about how individuals who believe they qualify under the Windrush criteria can apply for status under the Windrush Settlement Scheme.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Lucas said: “We are expected to assume that those 49 people are going to mysteriously find out when they are in the middle of Nigeria or Ghana that there is a Home Office website that they can go to and if they went to that website they could find out about the Windrush taskforce, the Windrush settlement scheme and make an application.”

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