A ONE-YEAR immigration amnesty offered to undocumented residents of the Grenfell Tower have been given an extra three months to come forward, the Home Office announced yesterday.
Those who survived the west London tower block blaze and had been living in the country without official papers were offered a 12-month reprieve in a scheme to encourage them to come forward and “help with the inquiry.”
The deadline to take up the offer was due to end on Thursday, however the Home Offi ce confirmed the deadline to come forward had now been extended to November 30.
Grenfell inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick has written to Prime Minister Theresa May saying their evidence was crucial to his investigation.
But campaigners said the amnesty offer lacked substance and people wanted assurances they could remain in Britain permanently.
Justice4Grenfell said: “The evidence of undocumented former residents of the tower could be critical in establishing what actually happened on the night — why would the government wish to prevent such evidence from being given?
“J4G are calling on the government to both extend the deadline and to grant a lifetime amnesty to anyone who comes forward.
“To do otherwise merely reinforces the impression that the government is hoping for a cover-up as opposed to a real understanding of all the factors that led up to the disaster that is Grenfell.”
Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said: “The welfare of survivors of the Grenfell Tower fi re is a priority for this government.”
The Home Office said figures on how many had signed up to the scheme would be released at a later date but confirmed that it will not conduct immigration checks on those who come forward to help the inquiry.