The Tories pushed on with its racist deportation flight to Jamaica even after successful legal challenges, reports Jamal Elaheebocus
The Home Office’s deportation flight to Jamaica went ahead in the early hours of Wednesday morning but with only 13 of the 50 people due to be deported on the flight.
Human rights lawyers and campaign groups brought several successful cases to the courts, proving that the Home Office’s plans to deport many of those due to be on the flight were illegal. Many of those due to be deported were set to be separated from their children and some were victims of modern slavery, meaning the Home Office was forced to grant them legal reprieve.
This followed the government’s deal with the Jamaican authorities, which meant it agreed to not deport anyone who came to the UK under the age of 12.
Over 60 MPs and peers signed a letter calling on the government to cancel the deportation flight, in which they rightly say that “Deportations epitomise the government’s continued ‘Hostile Environment’ agenda.”
A petition was also launched which has reached over 185,000 signatures, calling on deportation flights to stop.
Keir Starmer, Angela Rayner and several other members of the Labour frontbenches, including Lisa Nandy and David Lammy, failed to sign the letter calling on the deportation flight to be cancelled. This, added to the Labour leadership’s failure to recognise the UN international day of solidarity with Palestine, shows that they have no commitment to fighting racism, only the Left.
The fact that so many who were due to be deported were not serves to demonstrate the illegality of the deportation process, which has attempted to take parents away from their children and deport people who may have been victims of slavery. The government was able to deport 13 people, taking them away from their families and the lives they had built in the UK.
However, 13 people were still deported, shackled in chains on a plane, deported to a country they haven’t lived in for decades. Those who were taken off the flight were still kept in inhumane conditions in detentions. This is yet another example of the ongoing Hostile Environment and the continued scapegoating of minorities, especially migrants and refugees.
We must resist the government’s disgraceful, inhumane treatment of migrants and refugees and the attempt to divide and rule, which has characterised Tory governments of the last decade.