The families and lawyers of people who were deported to Jamaica this week have called on the government to stop expelling people who have lived in the UK since childhood.
At least nine people who had been due to be deported on Wednesday but who were given a last-minute reprieve have been in the UK since they were children. Media coverage of their cases appears to have prompted officials to reconsider decisions to remove them, although no explanation was given for the change of plan.
Vance Brown, from Oxford, whose son Chevon, 23, was deported on Wednesday, said Chevon was in a very bad state when they spoke by phone after his arrival in Kingston. “He is devastated and feeling suicidal. We told him to hang on for our sake,” he said.
Chevon, who came to the UK when he was 14, served eight months in prison for dangerous driving. His sentence triggered a deportation order. All his family are in Oxford and he has no relatives in Jamaica. His father asked a friend to collect him from the airport
“It is wrong to deport people who have come here as a child, especially when you have committed a minor crime,” his father said, adding that he felt angry when he heard the home secretary, Sajid Javid, describe those scheduled for deportation as serious criminals, listing murderers and rapists among their number. “That hurt so much when I heard that. He is a gentle young man who stepped into the wrong crowd. He served his time in prison and was on the right path.”
Ruth Gabriel, whose son Horace Hutchinson, 39, was also among the 29 deported, said it was wrong for the government to exile people who had been brought to the UK as children. Hutchinson had lived in England since he was 12. He was issued with a deportation order after serving time in prison for grievous bodily harm. Read more