For more than half a century, JCWI has been challenging policies that lead to discrimination, destitution and the denial of rights. And we've been providing much-needed legal and advice services to the people who need them most. We've helped tens of thousands of people secure their status, keep their families together and escape poverty. And we've consistently been one of the leading voices for a fairer, more just immigration system that works for everyone.

"JCWI has had a key role in promoting justice, fairness and equality for the past 50 years"
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

JCWI was founded on 23 September 1967 at a crowded meeting of 240 representatives of immigrant communities and anti-racism groups at the Dominion Cinema in Southall. The meeting was called in response to the introduction of new and harsh restrictions on movement, the rising tide of racist attacks against the UK's migrant communities,  and the failure of the authorities to protect them.

"For 50 years JCWI have been doing incredible work - in the face of an often hostile political climate. Thousands of people have benefited from the work of JCWI."
Caroline Lucas MP, Co-Leader of the Green Party

In the half century since then, we have been on the front lines of every big battle for the rights and welfare of people who move. We protested against the 1971 Immigration Act and against the large-scale passport raids which indiscriminately targeted Black and Asian Communities. We forced the government to end discrimination against women in 1975 by allowing them to sponsor their husbands to join them from overseas. 

We pushed the government to reverse its policy of forced return for refugees fleeing forced conscription in Rhodesia in 1977. And in 1980 we worked with MPs to have naturalisation fees frozen for everybody.

In 1983, we coordinated the first Divided Families campaign - work that continues to this day. 

And in 1992 we defeated the government's proposal to remove legal aid. Sadly we are called to this work once more as cuts since 2010 threaten access to justice.

"It's never been more important that an organisation like JCWI exists."
Diane Abbott MP, Shadow Home Secretary

In recent years we have continued our dogged pursuit of justice. We have challenged the government's family separation rules in the Supreme Court and we are fighting through the courts to dismantle the Hostile Environment. We have exposed discrimination in the asylum system and won justice for the Windrush generation. We have responded to the once again rising tide of racism and hostility with award-winning, global campaigns including 'I am an Immigrant' and 'I am a Refugee'. And we have continued to secure the rights and status of thousands each year. 

To learn more about our history, read our 50th anniversary review here.