Socialist Worker

Campaign for return of disabled man deported to Jamaica

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2692

Rayan Crawford

Rayan Crawford


A woman whose disabled partner was deported to Jamaica on Tuesday has said she will campaign to get him back to Britain and safety.

Rayan Crawford, who had lived in Britain since the age of 12, was one of the 17 people who was deported on the “charter flight” from Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

His partner Jana told Socialist Worker that it’s had a “shocking” impact on her and their two children, aged 12 and three. She fears how Rayan will be able to live without any support with his Blount Disease, a bone disorder that causes bowed legs.

Rayan lost his indefinite leave to remain in Britain and was given a deportation order in March 2018 while serving time in prison for a minor burglary offence. This meant that, once released, he had to sign in with immigration officials in London Bridge every Monday as the family appealed the decision.

Jana said, “I would have this fear every Monday, thinking, ‘What if he doesn’t come back?’ so he would always ring to say it is okay.”

On Monday 27 January, she explained, “He got up and rushed out, saying that he was running late.

“When he called around 2pm I thought that it was to say it’s okay.

“But he said that he was in detention.”

Detention

Rayan was taken to Brooke House detention centre, near London Gatwick Airport, without any way of contacting his family for hours.

Jana said, “If he hadn’t called me earlier I wouldn’t even know what had happened to him.

“They took his phone away and they got to the detention centre around 9 or 10 o’clock in the evening.”

Jana said one of the hardest things has been having “to lie to loved ones”.

“I can stay strong and hide in the bathroom and cry, but it’s difficult with the children,” she said.

“I said to my son, ‘Come and sleep with mummy. He said, ‘No, it’s daddy’s side of the bed.’ When he asked me where daddy was the next morning, I had to lie and say he had left early.”

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Jana was able to see Rayan on 29 January—but only for 45 minutes. “He was in the same clothes as when they detained him,” she said.

“He was not comfortable with the clothes he was given.

“There were strangers’ hairs on them and the bedding was so disgusting he didn’t even want to lie down.”

Supporters of Stand Up To Racism in Tower Hamlets are organising to help Jana and fight to get Rayan home.

The Tory government had wanted to deport at least 50 people to Jamaica on Tuesday. But the Court of Appeal blocked the deportation of people at Harmondsworth and Colnbrook immigration removal centres because they didn’t have adequate access to legal advice.

But the Tories will try to deport those who were spared soon.

Anti-racists have to campaign to stop all deportations and end Britain’s brutal immigration system.


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