tribute to football coach jackie walters
July 29, 2020
THE WINDRUSH SCANDAL: ICILINE BROWN'S JOURNEY
July 23, 2020
April 1957. Twenty year old Iciline Brown arrived in the UK from Jamaica with aspirations to undergo nursing training in Scotland as well as begin a better life. During this period, many other West Indians were making a similar journey to the UK. After settling in England and raising four children along with her husband Gersham Brown, Iciline returned to Jamaica in the early 1970s.
March 2018. After Iciline was twice denied a visitor’s visa in the preceding months to visit the UK, The Guardian newspaper revealed a UK government policy intent on creating a “hostile environment” for the so-called “Windrush generation” and specifically to detain and deport black people - the majority who had arrived in the UK before 1973 and been born British subjects, back to their countries of origin. Windrush generation is a reference to a sailing vessel, the SS Empire Windrush, which arrived in the UK in June 1948, bringing 500 settlers from Jamaica. Following the end of World War II, the UK needed manpower to rebuild the country, and subsequently reached out to its colonies at that time.
“I was frightened and horrified of this course of action, and could not believe leaders would have agreed to treat people in this shocking way. The consequences were that it was tearing hundreds of black families apart” she said.
After being temporarily allowed into the UK, there followed a 2-year struggle, led tirelessly by her four children Freddie, Monica, Noel and Phil to prove her status. In April 2020, the Home Office granted Iciline with indefinite leave to remain and her biometric residency card which should have represented vindication for all her family's efforts.
Iciline stated, " The truth was I had mixed feelings upon receiving the residency card. Without Team Brown (her children) taking on the task, the outcome would have been very different as I had personally given up due to my own frustration and anger about the situation.”
Even though her battle yielded success, many other persons have not been as fortunate with deportations continuing, and also deaths due to the stress caused. Iciline’s experience describes the pain and anguish suffered by so many others who have been terribly mistreated. The fight for justice continues.