SCORES of people are feared to have been wrongly removed or deported because of the Windrush scandal, home secretary Sajid Javid admitted yesterday.
Home Office officials have scoured through 8,000 records since 2002 and up to 63 people, aged over 45, could have been expelled from Britain, 32 of whom were labelled foreign national offenders, and 31 administrative removals.
But Mr Javid (pictured) said the figures were not final and could rise further. He told the Commons home affairs select committee: ‘I’ve asked officials to be absolutely certain and thorough and check over every record and make sure.’
And he admitted he still had no idea how many Windrush immigrants and their relatives had been detained.
Only last week immigration minister Caroline Nokes said she was still not aware of a single wrongful deportation of a Windrush citizen, despite Home Office chiefs admitting they knew of such cases.
Mr Javid denied there was a ‘systemic’ problem in the department, but acknowledged that in the Windrush cases people had faced ‘too large a burden’ in proving their long-term residency.
He also revealed that earlier this year thousands of letters were sent to banks requesting the closure of accounts belonging to individuals the Home Office believed to be illegal migrants.
Labour MP David Lammy, who has campaigned vigorously on behalf of those affected by the scandal, said the admission was ‘truly a day of national shame’ and called for an explanation from Theresa May.