Despite a protest staged outside the Jamaican High Commission in London Tuesday, the British Government deported 42 Jamaicans amid claims that they were tricked and that the expulsions were unjust.
The deportees, some carrying only one bag of personal possessions, arrived in Kingston on a chartered flight yesterday morning and were taken to Mobile Reserve, the police unit at Merrion Road, where they were processed before being released to anxious relatives.
Most hid their faces on release, except for one irate middle-aged man. He accused the British authorities of “using racism and bullyism” to effect the deportations and blamed the Jamaican Government of being a “sell-out.”
He said he was sent back to Jamaica over a “few bags of weed,” but argued that the British “rob and rape the world and no one is holding them responsible for that.”
“I’m a Rasta man, what do you expect of me? I smoke it,” he said in reference to marijuana.
He said he had already completed over four months of his nine-month sentence, but that the immigration authorities held him for another four months. “Then dem just say time to deport you. I appealed everything, and they turned down everything and pushed it aside,” he told journalists.
The Unity Center, an immigration and asylum support group that opposes the move by the British Government, said the sentiment among the deportees is that they were conned and manipulated.
“People issued tickets for the charter flight on Wednesday have complied with the conditions imposed on them by the Home Office. They have succumbed to the Home Office’s every demand and now feel like they have been tricked and kidnapped. Each person told the same story — they went to sign at the Home Office reporting center as required and were tricked,” the Unity Center said earlier this week in a news release headlined ‘Home Office Restarts Racist Jamaica Charter Flights’.
The UK’s Guardian newspaper on Tuesday, in its report on the protest over the deportations outside the Jamaican High Commission in southwest London, pointed out that some of the deportees were still fighting their immigration cases.
“Critics have raised questions about the tactics used by Home Office immigration enforcement, which has been accused of ‘strategically’ detaining individuals to fill the flight, without consideration of their circumstances,” the Guardian said.
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