THE TORY policy of creating a ‘hostile environment’ for the Windrush Generation – the thousands of men, women and their children that came over from the Caribbean to help rebuild the UK after the war – took another vicious step on Tuesday with an attempt at the mass deportation of 90 people to Jamaica.
On Tuesday and Wednesday morning, the determination of the Tories to deport at all costs, including clear breaches of the law, was played out in scenes described in the press as ‘mired in controversy’ as the Home Office pushed ahead with a charter flight to Jamaica with 90 deportees on board.
This was despite numerous legal challenges and the opposition of the Jamaican government to the flight, demanding it be cancelled on the grounds of potential Covid cases amongst the deportees.
In addition, the Jamaican High Commissioner complained to the Home Office that the deportation orders had been issued to people who had arrived in Britain as young children – in clear breach of a previous policy that this would not happen. The Home Office publicly refused to acknowledge any such policy.
In the event, when the charter flight finally took off at shortly after 1am on Wednesday morning, it carried between seven and ten deportees.
The rest were spared by last minute legal interventions.
In the case of Sanjay McLean (who moved to the UK aged 12 and whose lawyers argue that he has the right to British citizenship under the Windrush scheme), his deportation was cancelled at the last minute after his solicitors secured a High Court injunction.
He has now been returned to Colnbrook removal centre while the Home Office appeals this decision.
Two of those marked for deportation, both of whom arrived in the UK as children, were removed from the flight after they attempted suicide and had to be rushed to hospital.
Karen Doyle of Movement for Justice said: ‘These flights sweep up everyone. Mentally and physically unwell people, elderly, victims of trafficking and childhood abuse, care leavers and loving parents. They can’t be said to be about protecting the public when many have been out of prison for years with zero reoffending.’
She added: ‘For some of them, this will be a death sentence. Many of them don’t know anyone in Jamaica, they will effectively be destitute in a country they don’t know.’
It is not just the Windrush Generation that the Tories regard as completely disposable to be thrown out like trash. Changes in the immigration laws since January mean that an EU citizen’s permission to remain in the UK can be cancelled if that person is homeless and rough sleeping.
Homeless people from EU countries can be rounded up, bundled into vans, held in detention centres, then forced onto planes to be dumped.
This racist attack on EU workers, once welcomed for the capitalist class to exploit their labour power, has led to a backlash with over 100 homeless charities and nine local authorities pledged not to cooperate with the new laws and will refuse to refer cases to the Home Office.
Workers know that the Tory racist war on workers from other countries because they are surplus to their profit-making requirements, is part of the same war that is being being waged by the Tories every day against the entire working class in Britain.
As British capitalism collapses under the weight of its massive debts – with industry and companies going or about to go bust – millions of UK workers face being dumped like trash onto the scrapheap of unemployment with poverty level benefits.
The class reality is that emigrant workers who want to live in the UK have the same enemy, capitalism and imperialism.
For capitalism, the only value of any worker, from any country, lies in their ability to work and produce profit for the bosses. When the profits shrink to nothing, the whole working class of UK and the world must pay the price.
There is only one way to stop the racist deportations and the Tory drive to pauperise the working class. This is for the working class to force the trade unions to call a general strike to remove the Tory government and bring in a workers’ government and socialism!
Then the bosses will be deported and all immigrants welcomed!