Home Office discriminating against Windrush generation’s families, High Court rules

The Home Office logo
Support us and go ad-free

The Home Office’s refusal to give the families of people from the Windrush generation preferential treatment when charging fees to enter the UK is unlawfully discriminatory, the High Court has ruled.

Discrimination

Lynda Mahabir, a 52-year-old woman who was born in Trinidad, suffered a “colossal interference” with her right to family life when she was separated from her husband and five children for more than two years, a judge said on 6 May.

Judge Tim Smith ruled that the Home Office’s insistence that Mahabir’s family had to pay nearly £23,000 in fees to join her in the UK left her with “a thankless choice”. The judge said:

Either she had to forego the remedies which the (Home Office) had put in place with the express intention of remedying the injustice suffered by her and others like her, or else she had to break up the family. She chose to do the latter, in the hope no doubt that it would be only temporary, but in the process she has suffered [a] colossal interference with her right to family life.

The judge added that Mahabir’s evidence “about the negative impact of the separation from her family upon her is both undisputed and unsurprising”.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free
Unlawful

The High Court also ruled that the Home Office’s failure “to afford family members of a Windrush victim preferential treatment in the charging of fees… is indirectly discriminatory against them and is unlawful”.

In a statement after the ruling, Jeremy Bloom, a solicitor at the law firm Duncan Lewis who represented the Mahabir family, said:

This is a fantastic outcome for the Mahabir family and for all those who are unable to come to the UK to join members of the Windrush generation simply because the Home Office refuses to waive their exorbitant application fees.

The judgment makes it clear that the Home Office talks a good talk on Windrush but in reality the scheme is riddled with limitations and fails to properly consider the human rights of those it aims to help.

A genuine commitment to righting the historic wrongs committed would not have to be enforced by court judgment in this way.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us