UK-born son of Windrush immigrant given passport after years being denied British citizenship

'It's been so hard for me and given me a lot of troubles but I’m thankful I’m now able to get on with my life with no limitations'

May Bulman
Social Affairs Correspondent
Wednesday 03 October 2018 14:24
'They were going to send me back to Jamaica. I’ve never been to Jamaica': Son of Windrush immigrant threatened with deportation

The son of a Windrush immigrant who was denied British citizenship for years despite being born in the UK has finally been granted a passport after The Independent exposed his plight.

Jay, whose mother came from Jamaica as a child, has been fighting a constant battle to be recognised as British, spending hundreds of pounds and sending dozens of letters in failed attempts to secure his status.

He was forced to declare himself “stateless” after being threatened with deportation by the Home Office in 2016, which he said made him feel embarrassed and “stuck”.

A budding musician, Jay was forced to turn down numerous opportunities to go abroad to pursue his singing career because he was unable to travel out of the country. He was also prevented from going on school trips and holidays as a child.

Three weeks on from speaking to The Independent and informing Labour MP David Lammy of his situation, the Home Office has granted him a passport, giving no explanation as to why he had previously been denied one.

“I would like to thank the organisations involved in my case especially David Lammy for the swift response and sympathy towards my situation,” Jay said after receiving the document.

“It’s been so hard for me and given me a lot of troubles but I’m thankful I’m now able to get on with my life with no limitations.”

Jay is currently studying music business at university, and said he now hopes to pursue a career in music management, adding: “Now I can change things and feel more confident and secure.”

The young man, who was born in Birmingham and now lives in east London, previously said he was left feeling “excluded” from society and unable to pursue career goals due to being unable to travel abroad.

“It’s hindered me a lot. I haven’t been able to meet certain business goals and compete in certain competitions to develop in my career. It’s made me feel very stuck and very isolated at times – very alone, depressed,” he added.

On hearing the news, Mr Lammy said: “I am very pleased that Jay has finally got his British citizenship today, but this citizenship was his by right from birth and it certainly should not require the intervention of a Member of Parliament and a story in the press for this wrong to have been righted.

“So whilst I am happy for Jay I am angry on behalf of so many other people suffering at the hands of the Home Office’s hostile environment and I will continue to fight for justice for them.”

Jay’s case revealed the devastating effect the government’s “hostile environment” policies have had on people who arrived as part of the Windrush generation, as well as the negative impact on their British-born offspring.

It came after a string of shocking cases emerged of individuals who had been targeted by Home Office officials despite being welcomed to Britain as children before 1973, with some denied medical care, losing their jobs or being threatened with deportation.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments