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GBR | Dec 2, 2020

Some Jamaicans slated for deportation from Britain get last minute reprieve

/ Our Today

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Home Office acknowledges some of those slated to be kicked out of country may have been coerced into criminal activity

At least 10 of the Jamaicans slated for deportation from Britain today have been granted a last minute reprieve by the United Kingdom Home Office following days of lobby and protest by various human rights and advocacy groups in England.

In granting the 11th hour reprieve, the Home Office has acknowledged that the 10 men may be victims of modern slavery. Reports out of Britain say 13 people were being deported from the UK to Jamaica in the early hours this morning.

However, 10 of them were taken off the charter flight destined for Kingston hours before it was due to leave following legal intervention. Human rights and advocacy groups cited the case of a 30-year-old man, who came to Britain at the age of 11, successfully having his deportation cancelled yesterday evening.

HOME OFFICE FORCED INTO GIVING LAST MINUTE REPRIEVE

This was done after the Home Office was forced to acknowledge that the individual might have been trafficked by county lines gangs in his 20s. The human rights and lobby groups charged that the man was still to be deported by the Home Office, even though it has reportedly struck a deal with Jamaica not to deport those who arrived in the UK under the age of 12.

They contend that based on this accord being reached, the Jamaican in questioned ought to have been facing deportation in any case. The Jamaican was convicted of drug offences in 2019 and was referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) by his lawyer on Monday.

The NRM, which is Britain’s framework for identifying victims of trafficking assessed his case and concluded that the Jamaican had been trafficked and therefore his deportation should be halted.

The Jamaican national, whose daughters – aged six and seven – are British nationals, told The Independent: “It was devastating to be waiting because I knew that flight was going in the night, but I’m so relieved now. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I was sent out there. I would’ve been stuck in limbo. I would’ve had to leave my family behind.”

CASES OF OTHER JAMAICANS GRANTED REPRIEVE

Some other Jamaicans were taken off the flight on the basis of having children in the UK. One father, 43, as reported by The Independent, was told by his solicitor yesterday that a judge had ruled he shouldn’t be removed on the grounds that his deportation could breach his private and family life.

The father-of-four, whose children are aged 24, 22, 17 and 14, was detained on the basis that he was convicted of possession of an air gun in 2017 and spent a year and a half in prison for the crime. He was convicted of two driving offences prior to that, for which he served several months each time.

“I thought I was British until all this happened. As far as I was concerned, this is my country.”

Jamaican convict in the UK who received reprieve from deportation

Another Jamaican, who was taken off the flight, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has lived in the UK for most of his life and has a British mother and four siblings who are all British. He was detained and threatened with removal after serving two years in jail for intent to supply class A drugs.

It has been reported that he never had the money to go through the naturalisation process. According to the Jamaican, “I thought I was British until all this happened. As far as I was concerned, this is my country.”

The Jamaican charged that it is so wrong what’s going on with this deportation flight. “I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life. Everyone is desperate. There’s no help for people in this situation,” the Jamaican remarked.

LABOUR MP GIVES BRITISH GOVERNMENT STINGING REBUKE

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, British Labour Party member of parliament for  Streatham. (Photo: ITV)

Responding to the last-minute reprieve, Labour Member of Parliament, Bell Riberio-Addy said that, “rather than rushing ahead with further deportations, the government need to save themselves some embarrassment and save taxpayer money. They must halt all such flights, and comply with the Equality and Human Rights Commission recommendation to end the hostile environment.”

Two British children brought urgent legal action against the British government yesterday evening, challenging its decision to deport their father to Jamaica. They sought seeking an injunction relating to the removal of any parent where the interests of the child have not been properly assessed.

The legal challenges were however unsuccessful.

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