'The Home Secretary has admitted that more than 60 people may have been wrongfully deported or removed from the UK amid the deepening Windrush scandal.
Speaking to the Home Affairs Committee, Sajid Javid revealed the Home Office was investigating 63 cases of Caribbean nationals who may have been removed from the country despite living in the UK legally for decades.
He stressed that work examining records was continuing and that the final number was still subject to change.
The government's first estimate of the number of people wrongly made to leave the UK come as Labour accused the government of wanting to “cover up” a series of other problems with the immigration system.
Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, said the Home Office had “bulled and brow-beaten” people into leaving under threat of deportation, and wrongly detained and refused entry to immigrants who have the right to live in the UK.
Mr Javid told MPs on Tuesday that officials had reviewed the records of 8,000 Caribbean nationals who had been removed or deported since 2002, and found that 63 of them may have been members of the Windrush generation.
“The department has been going back and checking its records from 2002 onwards looking at all removals and deportations of Caribbean nationals aged over 45, meaning they could have potentially benefited from the 1971 Act,” he told MPs.
“So far, we have found 63 cases where individuals could have entered the UK before 1973."
Of the 63 cases, Mr Javid said 32 were foreign national offenders and 31 were administrative removals – of which he said all but one were voluntary removals, meaning they left because they received letters saying they must leave.
The home secretary’s admission comes a week after immigration minister Caroline Nokes told the same committee she was not aware of any wrongful deportations of Windrush immigrants. Moments later, Home Office official Hugh Ind told MPs the figure was ”up to five”.'
Read more: Windrush: Government admits more than 60 citizens could have been wrongly deported or removed
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