The daughter of Hubert Howard, a victim of the Windrush scandal, is crowdfunding for the funeral of her father who was living off handouts at the time of his death due to being sacked for not having the correct citizenship papers.
The Hackney Downs resident, 62, died on Tuesday after struggling for citizenship of a country he had lived in since he was three years old, and never left.
Howard was one of thousands of people who came to the UK legally in between 1948 and 1970 from the Caribbean to fill labour shortages after the Second World War.
Due to the nature of their immigration those that moved did not need, nor were they given, citizenship documents.
In 2018 many of the Windrush generation were wrongfully detained and threatened with deportation. The scandal was exposed by Guardian journalist Amelia Gentleman which began a legal battle with the Home Office for the rights of these people.
Howard arrived in the UK legally in 1960 but didn’t realise there was a problem until 2005. He was working as a caretaker when his employers, the Peabody Housing Association, asked him for proof of citizenship which he could not provide.
He then tried to get a passport to visit his sick mother in Jamaica in 2006 only to be told by the Home Office that if he left they couldn’t guarantee he would be able to come back to the UK.
Howard was suffering from leukaemia and was granted citizenship three weeks before he died after an urgent appeal by his lawyer, Connie Sozi, for citizenship due his critical health situation.
Councillor Michael Desmond, who took up his case, said: “We have lost a warm, engaging man who was faced with a Kafkaesque nightmare which was a disgrace to the country and shamed our Government.”
With no compensation, Howard was left living off handouts from friends after losing his job due to the lack of citizenship.
His daughter, Maresha Howard, who is originally from Hackney, told the BBC that the only way she’d be able to afford the funeral was if she used her student grant.
Help fund the funeral here: GoFundMe – Hubert Howard Funeral