Protest In U.K Against Deportation Flight To Jamaica

Outside the High Commission of Jamaica in London was the scene of a protest on Tuesday September 06, 2016, as persons demonstrated against Jamaica’s co-operation with a deportation flight that is destined for the Caribbean island on Wednesday September 07, 2016.

Protesters pointed to fathers, mothers and even grandparents among the persons who were being forcibly removed from the United Kingdom.

This was said to be despite many of them having spent their entire adult lives in the UK, with some still engaged in immigration cases with the authorities.

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Questions have been raised about the tactics that were being used by the Home Office immigration enforcement team, which has been accused of detaining individuals to fill the flight without due consideration of their individual circumstances. 

But the Unity Centre, a migration support organisation based in Glasgow, said in a statement, that it spoke to more than 50 of the passengers who were booked on the flight, all of whom came to the UK as children and have failed to regularise their immigration status over the years. 

“In the last few weeks, hundreds of individuals previously released on bail and temporary admission have been detained, in a deliberate act to prepare for this charter flight to Jamaica,” Unity Centre said in a press release.

“Many individuals have ongoing immigration cases and most cannot afford to pay the huge legal fees to regularise their stay. Everyone we have spoken to has been here since they were children and have no family or friends in Jamaica,” the organisation continued, noting 

“Their lives are here in the UK. Everyone we have spoken to has British family, children and partners, even grandchildren and extended family.”

Unity, which described the move as “racist”, said it is believed to be the first immigration removal to Jamaica since November 2014.

The Home Office reportedly declined to comment on the matter, while the Jamaican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has yet to respond.

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