Dozens of Jamaicans living in the United Kingdom (UK) have been detained and are being held by the Home Office in anticipation of a charter flight to repatriate them back to Jamaica on Tuesday, February 11.
According to the Home Office, those being deported had all been convicted of crimes in the UK, and as such will be returned to Jamaica in the coming weeks.
It is the second charter since the damning Windrush Scandal that ripped through Great Britain. However, lawyers, on select detainees’ behalf, have argued that the move comes before the much-delayed Windrush Lessons Learned Review has been published.
In the eyes of some, the Home Office’s decision effectively rips families apart and subjects deportees to a country many left decades ago.
Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to Jamaica, Asif Ahmad, while confirming the mass deportation, noted that he was unable to give details on the exact number of Jamaicans to be repatriated.
The High Commissioner noted that unlike previous instances, which surrounded immigration matters, the incoming batch of Jamaican deportees all served prison sentences in the UK beyond a year – which, under British law, would automatically subject them to deportation.
Ahmad said that the final tally of deportees could not be arrived at because the UK government, having notified the individuals, is currently before the courts as several Jamaicans seek legal recourse.