Socialist Worker

Fresh deportations show up cruelty of Tory racism

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2691

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Anger at rotten deporations takes to the streets (Pic: Guy Smallman)


“I’m going to die if I go back— the same people who killed my father will kill me,” Christopher, a man threatened with imminent deportation, told Socialist Worker.

“I have no relatives, no nothing in Jamaica.”

Christopher was being held in the Harmondsworth immigration centre. He said he faces “death and nothing else” if the Tories deport him.

At least five people have been murdered following deportation to Jamaica. Yet the Tory government pushed ahead with the deportation of around 20 people to Jamaica on Tuesday morning.

The Court of Appeal had partially blocked the deportation of people held in detention centres on Monday night.

But the Home Office might have deported some people protected by the court order anyway—and the threat still hands over everyone’s head.

It was unconfirmed whether Christopher was deported, despite the court order, as Socialist Worker went to press.

Margaret, Christopher’s partner, says that even if he was saved he could still be “taken away at any minute”. “What I want is Chris coming through the door and saying he is home,” she said.

“But what if he comes home and they try to put us through it again two years down the line?”

Functioning

Judges said the Home Office could not remove anyone “unless satisfied (they) had access to a functioning, non-O2 Sim card on or before February 3”.

The Detention Action charity argued that some detainees did not have access to legal advice because of problems with an O2 mast in the area.

The Home Office lost an appeal at 1am on Tuesday. But authorities had bussed detainees to Doncaster Sheffield Airport—including those covered by the order.

Some detainees were taken off the plane at the last minute.

On Tuesday morning Detention Action said that some, possibly all, of the individuals may have been ultimately removed from the flight.

Christopher came to Britain on 6 April 2001 and was picked up by the authorities two months later.

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He then put in a claim for asylum seeker status.

As someone applying for asylum, Christopher’s life was in limbo. “I couldn’t do anything,” he said. “I couldn’t work, I couldn’t even open a bank account. All I could do is go to Croydon immigration to sign in with the Home Office.”

Christopher stopped going to sign in with the Home Office because of his deteriorating health.

He was taken to the detention centre twice in that time.

Christopher says he was the victim of abuse and torture when he was a child and teenager in Jamaica.

“I witnessed my father killed—shot dead—at the age of seven,” he explained. “The gang tried to kill me and shot me too.”

The Tories have made clear that they will push ahead with mass deportations—and must be met with resistance.

Hundreds of people blocked Whitehall and the road outside parliament on Monday night, chanting, “No more charter flights—we want human rights.”

It was the second night of protest that brought the government district to a standstill after hundreds took to the streets last Thursday.

Anti-racists must fight to stop all deportations and tear down Britain’s racist immigration system.


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