The government is trying to draw a line under the Windrush generation scandal. After apologies from the Prime Minister, Amber Rudd has promised to make citizenship available free of charge. According to the Guardian, the Windrush generation and their children will be able to obtain citizenship quickly without having to pass a knowledge test.

The Home Office is set to accelerate the application process to ensure that the Windrush generation can obtain citizenship easily and speedily. This move follows relentless pressure on the government. In recent weeks, countless heartbreaking stories about the Windrush generation have highlighted the detrimental effects of blunt immigration-curbing drives.

Apart from families of Caribbean migrants who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1973, the free citizenship offer will also be available to Commonwealth nationals who entered the UK during the same period. This offer will come as a great relief to the Windrush generation, many of whom were threatened with deportation.

Unable to work or avail of NHS-services, the Windrush generation has suffered grave injustice. Many were of them were never issued with the paperwork they were later asked to produce. After the scandal broke, Theresa May apologized, however, as the current Home Secretary Amber Rudd came into the firing line. In the House of Commons, she told MPs that she was committed to resolving the situation urgently and purposefully, adding that an apology was just the first step of righting the wrongs the Windrush generation have suffered.

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Will the Windrush generation get compensation?

Speaking at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting last week, Prime Minister Theresa May said that the UK would do whatever was necessary, including paying compensation, where appropriate, to resolve the problems and ease the anxieties suffered by the Windrush generation.

According to the Guardian, details have not been worked out yet. Speaking to the Guardian, Sarah O'Connor who arrived over fifty years ago at the age of six, explained that she was told she was an illegal immigrant last year, even though she had been working and paying taxes in the UK her whole life.

Visibly angry, she wondered how the compensation scheme would be run.“Will it go to everyone or just a select few? I am so angry. Theresa May introduced this when she was home secretary, and all our problems were just swept under carpet. This is all a bit late.”

Mixed reaction to Rudd's free citizenship offer

Although opposition MPs and human rights groups have welcomed the Amber Rudd's offer, the overall reaction has been mixed.

According to the Guardian, David Lammy asked for the offer to be extended to people from places like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, pointing out that "British citizenship was theirs all along."

Broadening the Commons debate, the chair of the home affairs select committee, Yvette Cooper, asked for an end to immigration targets, seeing as they were at the root of the wider immigration problems. Chief Executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants Satbir Singh welcomed the measures as a first step. However, she added, "we need to see a root-and-branch reform of the Home Office if we are to avoid another Windrush.” Windrush generation campaigners have pointed out that changes to be introduced to the data protection bill may make it impossible for applicants to access files about themselves. A letter to David Lammy clearly illustrates that divisions in British society remain.