British immigration officials believe they have wrongly removed as many as 63 members of the Windrush Generation of Caribbean migrants from the UK — and the number affected could rise still further.
British Home Secretary Sajid Javid made the revelation on Tuesday.
Mr. Javid was giving evidence to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee about the treatment of the Windrush Generation — Commonwealth citizens who arrived in the UK before 1973.
Many have faced harassment from Home Office officials because they lacked documents to prove their right to remain in the UK. Mr Javid's predecessor, Amber Rudd, last month said the department was not aware of any Windrush migrants who had been wrongly removed from the UK.
Giving evidence before the committee last week, Hugh Ind, the Home Office's Director-General of Immigration Enforcement, said that no more than a handful of people had been incorrectly forced to leave the country.
Home Office officials have been looking through records of 8,000 removals from the UK to the Caribbean — deportations of criminals and administrative removals of people over their immigration status — to assess how many were members of the Windrush Generation.
Of the 63, thirty-two were deported as foreign national offenders, while the remaining 31 were people who either left of their own accord after being told they had no right to remain or were detained and forcibly removed.