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Two years after the Windrush scandal, many are waiting for compensation UK News


Dominic Akers-Paul, 27, is still awaiting full compensation, which he believes owes him fairly to the UK government.

He is one of thousands of victims of Windrush, whose immigration issues have cast a disturbing shadow over his personal and professional experience.

His mother was born at sea as her grandmother traveled through the cities of Nevis, Nevis, the former British colony of the Caribbean nation of Great Britain. As a result, he was not considered a British citizen.

For most of her life, Dominic’s mother found it difficult to prove that she was British, a problem that was passed on to her son.

Before receiving his passport from the British government when he was 18 years old, Akers-Paul was restricted from leaving the country and could not attend the funeral of his grandmother in the Caribbean.

He was also unable to work.

After graduating from high school at the age of 16, Akers-Paul aspired to become an apprentice. But he was forced to abandon the plan when the company that wanted to hire him asked for his right to work. He did not have the right documents at the time.

Dominique Akers-Paul did not receive a British passport until he was 18 years old [Courtesy: Dominic Akers-Paul]

It turned out that many of the Windrush generation, who came to the UK from the Caribbean from 1948 to 1971, did not have proper immigration documents due to government failures.

The hogs, whose immigration status has never been registered, have been improperly classified by the government as illegally residing in the UK.

The scandal also affects the descendants of those victims, like Akers-Paul.

According to the UK’s controversial hostile environment policy, the official strategy first announced in 2012, which allows life to be challenged as much as possible by those who do not have the right to stay.

In April 2019, a year after the Windrush scandal broke, the UK Home Office launched a compensation scheme.

But the plaintiffs-preachers condemned the offer as inadequate, given the long trials many had gone through.

The scheme was overhauled in December 2020 after significant protests.

The Home Office has raised the minimum Theatre 1 fee to a guaranteed base level for anyone who has been admitted to the Windrush scandal from 250 250,000 to և 10,000 ($ 350 to $ 14,100).

Since May last year, Akers-Paul has been fighting with the Home Office over its payment.

He was initially offered to pay Tier 1 for just 3000 3,000 ($ 4,300), an amount that was later raised to 000 40,000 ($ 56,400).

Believing that his case deserved further consideration, Akers-Paul made a Tier 2 application.

This category acknowledges that the victim suffered significant hardships as a result of the scandal.

The Interior Ministry demanded a great deal of evidence of suffering, including evidence that Akers-Paul was fired years ago because he did not have a passport.

Campaigners say this type of evidence is impossible to provide because it is not electronically processed or simply does not exist.

«[The caseworker] He said that there was no loss of earnings because I did not keep any letters stating that they could not hire me because I did not have a passport. “Because I can not prove it, they can not offer any prize,” said Akers-Paul.

“The evidence they want you to provide, they know you will not have, և then when you can not provide it, they say they can not reward you for what you can not prove … “Everything is set up so you can not.”

In addition, despite the lack of documents, due to which he has been unable to work or leave the country for 18 years, “[the Home Office] “He said it was just a few months of damage,” he said.

Akers-Paul painted his graduation day with his mother [Courtesy: Dominic Akers-Paul]

Akers-Paul is appealing to the Home Office to reject its Tier 2 application, which is being helped by lawyers working with Windrush Lives, which helps victims of the scandal.

Windrush Lives told Al Jazeera: “The burden of proof on claimants in the Windrush Compensation Scheme is enormous, and in many cases impossible.

“This is a distorted shift in responsibility for the Windrush scandal, in which plaintiffs are once again asked to provide evidence that they simply do not have, precisely because of the unfairness of hostile environmental policies that are supposed to be rectified through the program.”

A study by the National Audit Office (NAO) last month found that 633 people received payments out of a preliminary estimate of 1,533 eligible plaintiffs.

In a written statement to parliament on April 29, Home Secretary Pritty Patel acknowledged that of the 1,417 cases currently being considered by the Home Office, more than 500 have been pending for more than a year.

The Interior Ministry recently found that 21 people had died while waiting for compensation to be paid.

Preacher Patrick Vernon has initiated a petition to have Windrush’s claims scheme run independently by a non-governmental organization “to build trust, respect, compassion and trust for victims and their families.”

The petition received almost 60,000 signatures.

He told Al Azira Azira that the NAO report stressed that the compensation scheme should be taken out of the hands of the Interior Ministry.

“The scheme was not designed to correct mistakes in the spirit of restorative justice,” Vernon told Al Jazeera. “Bureaucracy’s constant delays further exacerbate the anxiety and trauma of the victims և families.”

He said that the scheme “was not developed with the victims, but is based on the ongoing processes, which are part of the ongoing implementation of the policy of structural racism and hostile environment in the Ministry of Interior.”





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