The adult children of the Windrush generation are NOT victims of the injustices their parents have suffered
The son of one of the Windrush generation lost a Supreme Court battle with Home Secretary Priti Patel today.
Damian Gabrielle, 39, moved from St. Lucia to Britain at the age of 18 and lives in Catford, south-east London. He wanted to challenge a decision by the Ministry of the Interior to ‘refuse’ to regularize his immigration status.
However, a judge today failed to give him the green light to initiate a judicial review. The judge, Ms Justice Ellenbogen, based in London, concluded that Mr Gabrielle has no disputable case.
Arguments were considered by the judge from attorneys representing Mr Gabrielle and Ms Patel at an online hearing earlier this week. Gabrielle’s lawyers said his father, Alexander Prospere, arrived in the UK from St. Lucia in 1961 at the age of 19.
The judge was told by barrister Grace Brown, who led Mr Gabrielle’s legal team, that under the government’s Windrush programme, a child of a Commonwealth parent who arrived in the UK before the age of 18 could be eligible for leave to stay.
And the lawyer said the position of adult children is a matter of “public interest” that should be the subject of judicial review.
She said Mr Prospere was a ‘Windrush’ victim and said he could not support his son’s bid to enter the UK until Gabrielle turned 18 as he was not confirmed as a British citizen until 2019.
Ms Brown argued that Mr Gabrielle and Mr Prospere have been victims of injustice.
But Ms Justice Ellenbogen disagreed, saying that children under 18 depend on their parents. And she said there’s no arguing that adult children are in an “analog position.”
Ms Patel’s lawyers argued that adult children of the Windrush generation are in the same position as any other person, in any country, wishing to live in Britain and the judge agreed with them.
A judge refused to give Damian Gabrielle the green light for a judicial review today. The judge, Ms Justice Ellenbogen, based in London, concluded that Mr Gabrielle has no disputable case. Pictured: Jamaican immigrants arriving at Tilbury Docks in the 1940s
Mr Gabrielle said: ‘I am absolutely devastated by today’s decision.
“Most of my adult life has been in limbo, because I’ve done my best to build a future for myself here against this uncertain background.”
He added: ‘For me the UK is my home.’
Ms Justice Ellenbogen turned down three other judicial review requests from adult children of those who were part of the Windrush generation.
They had not claimed that parents were unable to support their bids due to difficulties in confirming immigration status.
Ms Patel’s (pictured) lawyers argued that adult children of the Windrush generation are in the same position as any other person, in any country, wishing to live in Britain and the judge agreed with them
Karen Doyle, a Movement For Justice campaigner, told the Guardian That Friday’s ruling was further proof of the government’s failure to protect the Windrush generation and their families.
She said: ‘The damage to the Windrush generation was not just for the individuals. It had damaged entire families separated across borders.
‘Families who came to rebuild Britain and who were victims of brutal discrimination and racism.
“Many had to leave behind children they would otherwise have brought with them.
Reuniting and providing security to those families now in the wake of the Windrush scandal would have translated the government’s apologies into action.
Yet this administration continues to disappoint the Windrush generation and their families at every stage.
“We are deeply disappointed with this decision, but will continue to fight for the recognition and status of Windrush descendants.”
After the ruling, a lawyer representing Gabrielle said there are “countless others.”
But others commenting online praised the judge’s ruling, calling the result a victory for common sense.
One person commented, “Shocked to see a common sense result for a change.”
Neil Eastell wrote: ‘Oh my god, is this a first? A court/judge rules in favor of the government/Ministry of the Interior. Common sense!?’
Andrew Smith added: ‘Had to read it twice, a court is doing its job in accordance with the real law. Well I never.’
Others commenting online praised the judge’s ruling, calling the result a victory for sanity
Ms Justice Ellenbogen turned down three other judicial review requests from adult children of those who were part of the Windrush generation. Pictured: The Supreme Court
Richard Arthur, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: ‘Today’s decision supports the Home Office’s narrow-minded bureaucratic view and goes against the stated goals of the Windrush plan – to right the wrongs of the past.
“The two Windrush schemes – for regularization of immigration status and compensation – have rightly received a lot of criticism.
“These arrangements were intended to ‘correct the wrongs’ done to the Windrush generation, including reparations for their relatives.
“Instead, they are virtually impossible to access, with rigid and arbitrary rules, perpetuating the discrimination they were supposed to redress.
“We are deeply disappointed that the hopes of Damian Gabrielle – and countless others like him – have been thwarted by this decision.”
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said: “We are pleased that the court has found in favor of the department.
‘The Windrush scheme is designed to recognize the existing status and connection to the UK of members of the Windrush generation and their eligible children.
“The Home Secretary and the Department remain steadfast in our commitment to the members of the Windrush generation.”