SIXTY-THREE possible wrongful deportations are being investigated by the Home Office in light of the Windrush scandal — but campaigners said that the actual number may be higher.
Officials have examined 8,000 records dating back to 2002 following fears raised by MPs that people who had been in the country lawfully for decades may have been forced to leave.
On Tuesday, Home Secretary Sajid Javid disclosed that 63 people who arrived in Britain from the Caribbean before 1973 may have been wrongly removed or deported.
Of these, 32 are categorised as foreign national offenders, while 31 were people subject to “administrative” removals.
Mr Javid noted that the figures were not final.
The Home Office also said it had identified 17 non-Windrush cases since 2015 in which a person was returned to Britain after being wrongfully deported.
Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (Barac) co-founder Zita Holbourne told the Morning Star that she thinks the number of wrongful Windrush deportations is likely to be far higher given the number of mass removals on charter flights.
She said: “I don’t believe this figure takes account of those who are the family of Windrush generation people such as children and grandchildren.
“People were invited from the Caribbean to come and work to help the country recover post war, they came, worked hard in the face of horrific racism in what was called the ‘mother country’. What mother disregards, rejects and ejects their children in this way?”
Ms Holbourne said the figure also doesn’t factor in people who were refused entry back into Britain after spending most of their lives here.
“There has to be a case-by-case approach and assessment and full compensation for all loss damages and injury, the psychological impact as well as physical and financial impact,” she added.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said Labour would rescind all elements of the legislation supporting Theresa May’s “hostile environment,” including shutting down “immigration removal centres” and ending indefinite detention.
Ms Abbott said Labour would also restore “proper rights of appeal.”
“If we are going to deprive people of the right to be here, we must be clear that they do not have the right to live here,” she said.
Global Justice Now campaigner Aisha Dodwell said Labour’s pledge is “really encouraging for a more humane approach” to immigration, which she says is sorely needed.
“So far Sajid Javid has only expressed regret about the word ‘hostile,’ not the actual environment,” she added.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.