Maryland Windrush generation grandmother wins Home Office immigration fight
PUBLISHED: 14:32 18 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:47 18 June 2018
A Windrush generation grandmother who lost her job with a migrant charity has received the papers proving she has a right to be in the country.
Jessica Eugene from Carroll Close, Maryland, arrived in the UK from the Caribbean island of Dominica in 1970 at the age of 10.
Forty-eight years later she was left devastated after her employer the Newham Community Renewal Programme sacked her because she didn’t have the official paperwork to prove her right to work.
But after the Recorder broke the story Miss Eugene received the long-awaited documents from the Home Office last Thursday.
“It’s ended well without any stress or hassle. It was heartbreaking being made to feel like I have no right to work.
“But I was more stressed at losing my job than my status in the UK. I was never an illegal immigrant. This confirms everything I knew already.”
The 58-year-old added she was happy to prove that she had the right to live and work here to her former employer.
Since losing her job as a receptionist and cleaner at the Manor Park based charity she has been unable to apply for work or benefits without paperwork.
West Ham MP Lyn Brown offered to help if there were any problems dealing with the Home Office.
The member of parliament raised her case in a House of Commons debate where the government came under fire for targeting the Windrush Generation.
“That was fantastic,” Miss Eugene said. “I felt it mattered.”
Today the government announced £500,000 funding to back the first national Windrush Day on June 22 to celebrate the contribution made by the generation who arrived in the UK from Commonwelath countries searching for a better life.
“It’s great. Part of me believes it’s something to appease us and make us feel better, but it’s good to commemorate the contribution the Windrush Generation made to the rebuilding of this country. It makes me proud there is recognition,” she said.
On her plans, she said: “I want to enjoy the summer and get back on track now my immigration status has been confirmed.”