The mass deportation of Jamaicans who were detained whilst signing in at the Home Office has raised the issue of institutional discrimination.
On Wednesday 7 September, 42 Jamaicans were held at the London detention centre. They were without notification of their pending deportation from the country. Unbeknown to them, the Home Office had prepared a ‘secret’ charter flight to transport them back to Jamaica.
Many of these individuals had lived in the country for the majority of their lives; having British partners, children and grandchildren. Amongst those deported were an elderly grandfather and a father who was detained in the presence of his child. The child of the detained father was collected by social services.
Such separation of child from parent stands as a violation of the Human Rights Act (1998). This is especially as Article 8 states that individuals are entitled to a ‘private and family life’. Thus, this act pledges to ‘respect’ an individual, prohibiting the act of ‘interfering’ in an individual’s life. However, these mass deportations force a familial disintegration, consequently interfering with the bonds shared amongst family members.
Such systematic removal of Jamaicans from the country is largely concerning. This process of removal strips them of their fundamental human rights. It also re-admits them to a circular journey, the criminalising process of migration – re-criminalising them in their forced ejection from British society.
Such issues have been advocated against by BARAC – Black Activists Rising Against Cuts – who have organised a demonstration and meeting against such injustices on 2 November 2016.