Mackrell Turner Garrett offers helping hand to UK’s Mauritian community in light of UN decision regarding the Chagos Islands

Posted on Thursday March 7, 2019

Manisha Hurchurn and Donna Martin

London-based international law firm, Mackrell Turner Garrett, has said that the recent decision of the United Nations’ highest court throws the spotlight on Chagossians and Mauritians living in the UK.

While no Mauritian nationals had yet knowingly been contacted regarding their immigration status (other than in cases where applications to remain in the UK have been made), the plight of those affected by the events has left some contemplating their position

Many Chagossians settled in the UK following Mauritius gaining independence in 1968 and the ruling last week, that control of the Chagos Islands should be returned to Mauritius, raises certain points of discussion.

One of these is the position of third generation families residing in the UK, which has recently garnered some media attention.

The issue they are facing is that, under current British Nationality law, citizenship can only be passed on to one generation born overseas. Consequently, grandchildren of re-settled Chagossians who may have been living in the UK since they were children may not have a claim to British citizenship.

Donna Martin, Head of Employment and Immigration Law at Mackrell Turner Garrett, said: “The UK’s Mauritian and Chagossian community has made a big contribution to the diversity and economic success of the nation and are right to be mindful of the latest revelations amongst third-generation Chagossians who may face deportation.

“Many find themselves in a similar situation, but they may not yet have been contacted by the Home Office. We want to ensure that the community is clear that we are here to support them with whatever immigration issues that they may face and can provide bespoke advice tailored to their needs.”

Mackrell Turner Garrett is a big supporter of the UK’s Mauritian community and has held a number of business events in the past targeted specifically at meeting the needs of business leaders from Mauritius.

Manisha Hurchurn, a solicitor at the firm and native Mauritian, said that the firm understood the needs of Mauritians, which was why it was raising awareness of the issue ahead of any potential notifications from the Home Office.

“We have seen the effects that the Home Office’s policies have had in other communities and we, therefore, wish to arm Mauritians and Chagossians alike, with the knowledge and advice to pre-empt any possible actions. Given the close relationship we have with the Mauritian community, we are happy to do all that we can to offer our ongoing assistance to those requiring it,” said Manisha.

Mackrell Turner Garrett is encouraging members of the Mauritian community to get in contact with the firm to discuss their immigration status by speaking with Manisha Hurchurn and Donna Martin.