Authorization

Inside immigration centre with Windrush residents

What's it like inside immigration centres for Windrush cases? Sky News political correspondent Laura Bundock witnesses the process:
Lunar House, the Home Office immigration centre in south London, has been open throughout the weekend to help deal with the high numbers of Windrush cases.I go in with Joan Thomas, who has an appointment at 11.45am.Joan arrived in the UK on 17 May 1967 from St Vincent to join her mother, who'd come over with the very first Windrush migrants."It's been a horrible, really anxious wait," Joan tells me.Lunar House is a towering office block. The front desk is expecting Joan, her name's ticked off a long list and we pass through airport-style security.We're taken to the third floor, where Joan is given a number and a long form to fill in. It's after basic information: name, address, date of birth and details of any convictions.
Inside immigration centre with Windrush residents

Image:
Sky's Laura Bundock spent the afternoon with Joan Thomas, one of the Windrush generation
Within a couple of minutes Joan's number is called.We head to a desk, one of many lining two sides of the room.Joan hands over her paperwork including the passport she last used when she arrived in the UK aged 12. She's also brought her degree certificate, national insurance card, some other qualifications and her bank details.The immigration officer takes the papers and says Joan's case looks straightforward. "We've had some through who have absolutely no paperwork," he says.He takes Joan through to "biometrics", a glass double door with a large black fingerprint on the side.Behind is another room with more desks on either side and a camera set up.
Inside immigration centre with Windrush residents

Image:
The Windrush generation got their name from the Empire Windrush ship
A second immigration officer takes Joan's finger and thumb prints on a small scanner. Joan writes her signature on another screen and has her photo taken."I think Theresa May owes me a bottle of rum," laughs the officer. It's clearly been a busy time.
Joan's then told to wait for her number.The waiting area is filled with people with very similar stories to Joan. Windrush children who came to the UK to join their parents but never had official paperwork.One man has had problems getting his benefits. His lawyer explained: "They wanted him to apply for official status but he couldn't afford to pay. I have many clients still too afraid to come here."The wife of another man says her husband, who was born in Jamaica, has always wanted to travel but "he's been too scared to go very far in case they won't let him back into the country".
Inside immigration centre with Windrush residents

Image:
The Windrush generation came to Britain in the decades after the Second World War
"All these years he's been worried men in vans will turn up and take him away."People share their stories as they wait. There is a feeling of frustration it's taken so long. But there's also a sense of optimism that finally their cases will be resolved.Just after 2pm, Joan's called back.She tells me she has "huge butterflies" and feels nervous.Another officer says there's no need to worry, she has been given official status and hands Joan a "no time limit" letter. In other words, the right to remain.She's told her biometric residence permit will arrive within a few days. After which they will be in touch about citizenship.There's a small cheer from the other people in the waiting area when Joan returns.
More from Windrush

Poll: Britons blame May more than Rudd for Windrush scandal


'Rudd quitting must not overshadow Windrush'


Ex-Amber Rudd deputy has 'sealed her fate' in TV interview


Windrush row: Labour demand PM launch inquiry


Senior Tories back Amber Rudd as she fights to save job over Windrush scandal


Amber Rudd 'hanging by a thread' after blunders over immigration targets

It took just over two-and-a-half hours for her case to be sorted. She leaves with just a piece of A4 paper - but the reassurance she's been waiting more than 50 years for."I feel relieved," Joan says. "Finally I can go away I can go back to St Vincent."
news.sky.com
See also:
Leave a comment
News
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Май 2018    »
ПнВтСрЧтПтСбВс
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031