Last week mass deportations resumed in Britain. It’s less than a year since the Windrush scandal broke – and the review into the events leading up to it hasn’t even reported back yet. This was a stark reminder that the government’s “compliant environment” policies have changed in name only: otherwise they remain as hostile as ever and continue to destroy the lives of black and ethnic minority people (BME) people – many of whom have lived in the UK since they were children.
Before the deportation flight the home secretary, Sajid Javid, declared that many of the “foreign national offenders” on the flight had committed “very serious crimes” – but soon after this the Home Office admitted that most of the deportees had committed minor crimes such as single drug or driving offences. More worryingly, 13 people on the Jamaican charter flight had come to the UK as children – nine of them were under the age of 10, 11 had indefinite leave to remain (ILR), and one person even had a British passport. Not only were most of the people on this flight “more British than foreign”, they were also being punished twice (three times if you include immigration detention) for crimes they had already served sentences for.