Some 60 people were deported to Jamaica today, Wednesday, on a flight chartered by the Home Office and with the cooperation of the Jamaican state.
The Movement for Justice campaign against deportations and immigration detention held a demonstration outside the Jamaican High Commission in London yesterday.
Antonia Bright from the group told Socialist Worker, “We needed to make the point that the Jamaican community is being targeted and that’s not acceptable.”
Some five people who had been scheduled to be on the flight managed to make legal appeals against their decisions, although they may still be deported if their appeals are not upheld.
Glasgow-based The Unity Centre, a migration support group, said that it had spoken to 50 of the people on the flight. Of these, 49 had come to Britain as children. Many are carers for family members, have children and all have built lives in Britain.
“In one case a woman was taken at her home,” said Antonia. “The Home Office is saying that “whenever we decide to deport you we can just grab you.”
Cuts to legal aid in the 2016 Immigration Act mean that people making appeals against deportation decisions no longer qualify for legal aid.
Mounting a judicial review against deportation is very expensive and time-consuming. It requires resources that are not available to most people.
Corporate Watch estimates that each charter flight costs the British state £200,000. The British state will pay for deportations and detention centres while cutting welfare and services.
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