Stop mass deportation flight today! – demand 150 MPs and Lords

Campaigners blocking Whitehall last Thursday demanding an end to deportation charter flights

THE MASS deportation flight due to leave today with 50 people on board who came to the UK as children must be stopped! over 150 MPs and members of the House of Lords have said in an open letter.

They warn there is a danger of repeating the Windrush scandal – when people were deported despite being British citizens or having the right to live in the UK.

A letter signed by the MPs said: ‘Two years ago the Windrush crisis shook the country. In a violation of human rights, the government was found to have been detaining and deporting British citizens and those who had the right to live in the UK for decades.’

It said the government should halt the deportations at least until a review into the Windrush scandal, called the ‘Lessons Learned Review’ has been published.

Johnson’s Tories say that they must be deported because they are ‘dangerous criminals’. However, it has emerged that some of those due for deportation have served only a few months in jail for trivial offences.

Tottenham MP David Lammy said: ‘The first thing is to have the review, what does it say? What happened the last time round? Why have we got to deport these men back to Jamaica?’

Karen Doyle, from Movement for Justice, said: ‘Many came as children and if you have a piece of paper that says you are a British citizen, you get a second chance in life, but these detainees are not being given a second chance.

‘A justice system should provide justice. Every case should be considered individually and every one of those headline convictions contains an individual story.

‘For example, the young man who came here at the age of two, never been back to Jamaica, spent most of his childhood in the British care system, in British care homes. They never sorted out his British citizenship.

‘He was a troubled young man who went on to commit serious crimes. Those were British crimes, not Jamaican crimes, why should he be sent back to a country that he has never known?’

Doyle added: ‘There are over forty British children who could wake up on Tuesday morning without their father, never seeing their father again.’

Labour MP Dawn Butler said: ‘My constituent, who is due to be on that flight, got done under the Joint Enterprise which is now unlawful, when he was 19-years-old. He has been in the country since he just turned 11-years-old. He has got no surviving family in Jamaica.

‘He has a wife and a six-month-old child here. She is absolutely distraught. He has a heart condition that is undiagnosed. He had a monitor on that, but that monitor has now been taken away. He passes out, he doesn’t know whether the stress of this is going to basically kill him.

‘And I just think when did we become that country. And “The Lessons Learned Review” after the Windrush scandal has not been published which does recommend that all deportation flights be halted, particularly when it comes to those who came here as children under the age of 13.

‘The government says that everyone due to be on that flight passed the threshold of the length of sentence they have served.

‘My constituent served just two months, this means that the government are not being honest.’

Meanwhile, only 3% of Windrush claimants have so far received compensation.

Labour MP Lucy Powell’s Manchester Central constituency has one of the highest concentrations of people affected by Windrush issues, and she has assisted about 70 people in surgeries since the government apologised for the scandal in April 2018.

Powell said: ‘We may have only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of the numbers of people coming forward.’

She has met a number who have been in semi-hiding for years after they were wrongly informed that they were in the UK illegally. She said some remain too nervous to take action to resolve their immigration issues.

‘I’ve had a lot of worried people coming to see me. They don’t have a British passport and have been beneath the radar for so long that they still don’t want to test out what their status is. These are people who haven’t gone on holiday for 30 years or who haven’t ever gone to the doctor,’ Powell said.