UK Home Office and Jamaica reportedly reach agreement regarding controversial deportation

by November 30th, 2020

There are reports that a deal has been quietly agreed between Britain’s Home Office and Jamaica not to remove people who went to the United Kingdom as children on a controversial deportation charter flight this week.

Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Seth Ramocan reportedly told the Guardian Newspaper that following diplomatic overtures to the Home Office, officials agreed not to deport Jamaicans who went to Britain under the age of 12.

The Home Office has declined to comment and there has been no public announcement.

It comes after 82 black public figures including model Naomi Campbell – urged airlines not to carry up to 50 Jamaicans on the Home Office deportation flight scheduled for Wednesday (December 2).

Home Office charter flights are a common way to remove those classed as having no right to remain, including due to certain serious criminal convictions.

The last charter flight from the UK to Jamaica was in February; many others due to fly had their deportation halted at the 11th hour due to legal action.

Charter flights to Jamaica are particularly controversial because of the Windrush scandal and because some earmarked for deportation went to the UK as children and had families there.

In 2018 a Home Office-commissioned report from the former Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Stephen Shaw, called for a new approach to the policy of detaining and removing people who had committed crimes but lived most of their lives in Britain. The Home Office has not implemented the recommendation.

But Mr. Ramocan said the High Commission had made representations ahead of the Wednesday charter flight and that an agreement had been reached not to deport those who arrived as young children.