New home secretary Sajid Javid steps up: I'll sort Windrush

May 01, 2018, 08:40
New home secretary Sajid Javid steps up: I'll sort Windrush

He promised to put his own "stamp" on the department and came out fighting - telling Labour's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott she did not "have a monopoly" on anger over the treatment of migrants.

Britain's Housing Minister Sajid Javid, the son of Pakistani immigrants, was named Monday to take over the portfolio of the Home Office (interior ministry), which oversees law enforcement, immigration, and counter-terrorism activities.

"She was presiding over, in her terms, the creation of a hostile environment", the Labour leader said.

Amber Rudd has faced repeated calls to resign amid claims that her department is "out of control" for using removal targets for illegal immigrants.

In a resignation letter to the prime minister, Rudd said she had "inadvertently" misled lawmakers. Rudd became the fourth person forced to resign from the UK Cabinet in the last six months - following former defence minister Sir Michael Fallon, former global development minister Priti Patel and May's deputy Damian Green.

As a second generation migrant, he said he was "angry" at the treatment of those caught up in the saga.

"When I heard about the Windrush issue I thought, 'That could be my mum... it could be my dad... it could be my uncle... it could be me", he added. He is the the son of a Pakistani bus driver who immigrated to the United Kingdom in the 1960s, BBC reported. "I should have been aware of this, and I take full responsibility that I was not".

Asked about the "hostile environment" approach, Mr Javid said: "I think it is a phrase that is unhelpful and it does not represent our values as a country".

Will Javid stray from May?

Following the Conservative Party's victory in the 2015 general election, Javid was appointed secretary of state for business, innovation and skills.

Sajid Javid is not particularly a close ally of the prime minister herself. Mr Javid will inherit leadership of the Government's strategy to tackle serious violence - the unveiling of which earlier this month was overshadowed by a fresh row over police officer numbers. His father arrived in Britain with nothing but £1 in his pocket, working in a cotton mill in Rochdale, near Manchester in central England.

Former investment banker Mr Javid was given the job during a telephone call with Mrs May and becomes the first person from an ethnic minority background to hold one of the four great offices of state.

But whatever the presentation and the political messaging, the realities of the Windrush fiasco affect real lives.

Because new rules required individuals to produce documentation to receive a host of public services, and treated anyone without documentation as illegal, many who were British citizens were treated as illegals.

The Windrush generation settled legally in post-war Britain and automatically won the right to remain in the UK.

They were threatened with deportation and some were even denied medical treatment because they didn't have documents to prove that they had been living in the United Kingdom for decades. Others have lost their jobs and have been denied access to free medical care.

There are no such estimates available for illegal immigrants from India but another recent study by Oxford University's The Migration Observatory has said that 6,580 Indian were deported in 2016, the top country of enforced removals or voluntary departures from Britain.

Mr Javid - who as communities secretary did not sit on...

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