The son of a Windrush generation today lost a battle in the Supreme Court with Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Damien Gabriel, 39, moved from St Lucia to Britain at the age of 18 and lives in Catford, southeast London. He wanted to appeal the Interior Ministry’s decision to “refuse to regularize” his immigration status.
However, today the judge did not give him the green light for a judicial review. The judge, Lady Justice Ellenbogen, based in London, concluded that Mr. Gabriel had no arguable case.
The judge considered the arguments from lawyers representing Mr. Gabriel and Ms. Patel in an online hearing earlier this week. Mr Gabriel’s lawyers said his father, Alexander Prosper, arrived in the UK from St Lucia in 1961, at the age of 19.
Solicitor Grace Brown, who led Gabriel’s legal team, told the judge that the government’s Windrush plan said the child of a Commonwealth citizen parent who arrived in the UK before the age of 18 could be eligible for leave to remain.
The lawyer said the adult children’s position was a matter of “public importance” and should be subject to judicial review.
It said Mr Prospere was a victim of Windrush and said he was unable to support his son’s attempt to enter the UK before Mr Gabrielle turned 18 because it was not until 2019 that he was confirmed as a British citizen.
Mrs. Brown argued that Mr. Gabriel and Mr. Prosper were victims of injustice.
But Mrs. Justice Ellenbogen disagreed, saying that children under the age of 18 depend on their parents. She said it was indisputable that adult children were in a “similar situation”.
Patel’s lawyers argued that the adult children of the Windrush generation are in the same situation as everyone else, living in any country, wishing to live in Britain and the judge agreed with them.
A judge today refused to give Damien Gabriel the go-ahead for a judicial review. The judge, Lady Justice Ellenbogen, based in London, concluded that Mr. Gabriel had no arguable case. Pictured: Jamaican immigrants arriving at Tilbury Docks in the 1940s
Mr Gabriel said: “I am completely devastated by today’s decision.
“Most of my adult life was in limbo as I did my best to build a future for myself here against this uncertain background.”
“For me, the UK is my home,” he added.
Justice Ellenbogen has dismissed three other requests for judicial review by adult children who were part of the Windrush generation.
They did not argue that parents were unable to support their offers due to difficulties in confirming immigration status.
Ms Patel’s lawyers (pictured) argued that adult children of the Windrush generation were in the same situation as anyone else, living in any country, wishing to live in Britain and the judge agreed with them.
Karen Doyle, an activist in the Movement for Justice, told the Guardian that Friday’s ruling was further evidence of the government’s failure to protect Jill Windrush and their families.
She said, “The damage to the Windrush generation was not just to individuals. It was the damage to entire families scattered across the border.
The families who came to rebuild Britain were subjected to brutal discrimination and racism.
Many had to leave the children behind otherwise they would not have attended.
If the families were to be reunited and secured now in the wake of the Windrush scandal, he would have put the government’s apologies into practice.
However, this government continues to fail the Windrush generation and their families at every stage.
“We are very disappointed with this decision but will continue to fight for the recognition and status of the grandchildren of Windrush.”
After the ruling, a lawyer representing Mr Gabriel said there were “countless others”.
Justice Ellenbogen has dismissed three other requests for judicial review by adult children 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 petty bureaucratic view and goes against the stated goals of Project Windrush – to right the wrongs of the past.
Windrush’s schemes for immigration settlement and compensation have rightly been criticized.
These schemes were supposed to “correct the mistakes” made to the Windrush generation, including compensating their family members.
Rather, it is almost impossible to reach them, with strict and arbitrary rules, and to perpetuate the very discrimination for which they were supposed to provide redress.
“We are deeply disappointed that the hopes of Damien Gabriel – and countless others like him – have been dashed by this decision.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior said: “We are pleased that the court was found in the interest of the ministry.
The Windrush Chart is designed to learn about the current status and connection to the UK for members of the Windrush generation and their eligible children.
“The Home Secretary and Department remain steadfast in our commitment to the Windrush generation.”