Exactly why is the Tory government insisting on deporting people of Caribbean origin who have been UK residents for many years?
He says they’re “serious criminals”. But are they? Let’s remember, the Tories have been wrong about their deportations before, but still insisted on causing misery to thousands of innocent people.
(And the UK electorate then insisted on returning them to office. I suppose it’s true that some people only care when they’re the ones being persecuted.)
All 50 of those being deported are said to be convicted criminals, but here’s the catch: they have all served UK prison terms for those crimes.
They have already paid the required price for their crimes and it would be perverse to punish them again. Isn’t this simply more Tory racism?
The Home Office says the flight is “specifically for removing foreign criminals” and includes “people convicted of manslaughter, rape, violent crime and dealing Class A drugs”. Number 10 has said all the people on the flight have sentences of 12 months or more.
But a law firm representing some of the people on the flight has put forward a different view – that they are “potential victims of trafficking, groomed as children by drugs gangs running county lines networks and later pursued in the criminal justice system as serious offenders”.
And why is this flight scheduled to happen before the ‘Lessons Learned’ review of the Windrush Scandal is published? That event showed that the Tories had wrongly detained and deported thousands of people, forcing then-prime minister Theresa May to apologise for the suffering she had caused as the Home Secretary who approved it.
But at least one person on tomorrow’s (February 11) flight has been found to have been convicted falsely under an unlawful interpretation of the ‘joint enterprise’ rule. He served only two months in prison and has a heart condition which means he may not survive the stress that Mr Johnson is forcing him to undergo.
This would tally with the legal challenge against the deportations.
More than 170 MPs have signed a letter organised by Labour MP Nadia Whittome, demanding that the flight be cancelled, or at least delayed until after publication of the ‘Lessons Learned’ report:
The Home Office plans to deport 50 people to Jamaica on 11th February.
Cancel the flight until the Lessons Learned Review is published and its recommendations implemented, or risk repeating the Windrush scandal.
Over 170 colleagues and I wrote urging the Prime Minister to act. pic.twitter.com/cubfqsBPwx
— Nadia Whittome MP (@NadiaWhittomeMP) February 9, 2020
A draft of the report in June 2019 said: “Government should review its policy and approach to FNOs [foreign national offenders], if necessary through primary legislation. It should consider ending all deportation of FNOs where they arrived in the UK as children (say, before age of 13).
“Alternatively, deportation should only be considered in the most severe cases.”
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