Councillors call for cancellation of mass deportation flight to Jamaica
By Luchia Robinson
Haringey councillors have written to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel MP condemning a removal charter flight that is set to depart from the UK to Jamaica on 2nd December.
More than 30 Haringey Councillors have signed the letter citing concern that the 50 Black British residents, currently held in Colnbrook immigration centre, who are expected to board the flight, have reportedly been unable to access resources and legal aid – a violation of their human rights.
The imminent flight would separate 31 children from their fathers – the councillors responding that ‘it’s simply wrong to split up families in this way.’
Raising the matter in parliament, Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy said: “The Home Office have go it wrong again and again on immigration, so will they think again, halt the deportation flight, and finally end the illegal hostile environment?”
The Haringey councillors raise the same concerns in their letter, stating that ‘as local councillors we have a duty to stand up for all our residents including asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants of all backgrounds.
‘We know that many Haringey residents still encounter the same attitudes and practices that are criticised in the Windrush Lessons Learned Review.’
There has been widespread concern regarding the flight, with campaigners calling for it to be stopped and for deportation policies to be changed. Over 60 MPs, and 82 Black public figures have written to the Home Secretary, and to airlines known to have previously deported deportees.
The Home Office said: “We make no apology for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals to keep the public safe. Each week we remove foreign criminals from the UK to different countries who have no right to be here, this flight is no different. The people being detained for this flight include convicted murderers and rapists.”
The Home Office declined to provide a breakdown of offences when contacted by The Metro.
The Guardian reports that the Home Office and Jamaica have agreed a quiet arrangement to remove people who came to the UK as children from the flight. However, there has not been a public announcement, and the Home Office have refused to comment on this.
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