Advertisement
Activism

Campaigners fight to remove final passengers from Jamaica deportation flight

More than a dozen people are understood to have been removed from the flight, which is set to leave on Wednesday.

More than a dozen people are understood to have been removed from a deportation flight to Jamaica on Wednesday, with campaigners’ fight to remove remaining passengers set to go to the wire.

Of 24 detainees in touch with campaign group Movement for Justice, 15 have had their removals deferred after legal challenges, with nine still having active removal directions.

The last deportation flight to Jamaica, in November, left with just four passengers – despite around 50 people originally being detained.

Figures obtained by The Big Issue revealed that one in six of the Home Office’s deportation charter flights in 2021 left with fewer than 10 passengers.

Karen Doyle, an organiser with Movement for Justice, said she expected the number of people taken off Wednesday’s flight to increase in the hours before take-off.

“These mass deportation flights are fundamentally unjust, they devastate families & terrorise communities,” Doyle told The Big Issue.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“Movement for Justice will continue to organise with the detainees and their families to ensure as many as possible come off this flight and every charter flight.”

A number of activists held a protest outside Brook House immigration removal centre, in Gatwick, on Monday evening.

Organised by SOAS Detainee Support, the protesters called for an end to deportations.

The Home Office pursues a policy, under the UK Borders Act 2007, of deporting any non-British citizen who serves 12 months of more in prison.

A number of those detained for this week’s flight came to the UK as children, including one, who arrived as a seven-year-old and told The Big Issue last week: “I don’t even know what Jamaica looks like.”

The Big Issue understands he has since been removed from the flight.

After November’s flight, home secretary Priti Patel said it was “absolutely galling” that “last-minute legal claims” had stopped the deportations of 33 people.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Those with no right to be in the UK, including foreign national offenders, should be in no doubt that we will do whatever is necessary to remove them. This is what the public rightly expects and why we regularly operate flights to different countries.

“The New Plan for Immigration will fix the broken immigration system and stop the abuse we are seeing by expediting the removal of those who have no right to be here.”

Advertisement

Every copy counts this Winter

Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Winter. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Winter.

Recommended for you

Read All
How you can donate to help rescue efforts after the Turkey and Syria earthquakes
Turkey and Syria earthquakes

How you can donate to help rescue efforts after the Turkey and Syria earthquakes

Betting shops are taking over this town. But the locals are fighting back
Gambling

Betting shops are taking over this town. But the locals are fighting back

The government’s anti-protest bill is back. Here’s what you might not know about it
Public Order Bill

The government’s anti-protest bill is back. Here’s what you might not know about it

Inside the trial of the 'Barclays Seven' Extinction Rebellion activists
Long read

Inside the trial of the 'Barclays Seven' Extinction Rebellion activists

Most Popular

Read All
Glen Matlock: 'I wish John Lydon stood by Anarchy In The UK's words'
1.

Glen Matlock: 'I wish John Lydon stood by Anarchy In The UK's words'

Louis CK’s sold-out show at Madison Square Garden proves there’s no such thing as cancel culture
2.

Louis CK’s sold-out show at Madison Square Garden proves there’s no such thing as cancel culture

Beyoncé fans enraged as some tickets cost more than a month's rent
3.

Beyoncé fans enraged as some tickets cost more than a month's rent

Here's when people will get the next cost of living payment in 2023
4.

Here's when people will get the next cost of living payment in 2023