UK flight headed to Jamaica with 13 deportees

UK flight headed to Jamaica with 13 deportees

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica - Last minute interventions have prevented the deportation of several Jamaicans who were scheduled to be deported from the United Kingdom (UK) this morning.

Reports out of the UK say the charter flight left for Jamaica carrying just 13 of the 36 passengers who were finally prepared to be deported, after a number of last-minute legal challenges were launched by human rights lawyers and campaign groups.

The Home Office said the 13 people deported had combined jail terms of more than 100 years, including three convicted of murder, another of manslaughter, while others had been sentenced for crimes like grooming, drug dealing, burglary and robbery.

Initially the Home Office had indicated that it planned to make approximately 50 deportations via the flight, but the majority were stopped by a court of appeal injunction due to access to justice concerns.

Home Office minister Chris Philp, who confirmed that the flight had left, said: “It is disappointing that specialist immigration law firms continued to use last-minute tactics to remove a significant number of offenders from this flight.

"These individuals had every opportunity to raise the claims in the days and weeks leading up to the flight; however, a significant number of claims were not submitted until hours before the flight was due to leave - meaning murderers and rapists have been able to stay in the UK."

On Tuesday evening detainees were taken from three Home Office detention centres – Pennine House in Manchester, Colnbrook, near Heathrow Airport, and Brook House near Gatwick Airport.

It is thought that nobody who arrived in the UK under the age of 12 was on the flight after a deal was quietly agreed between the Home Office and Jamaica not to remove people who came to the UK as children, according to Jamaica High Commissioner Seth Ramocan.


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