News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Nov. 30, 2020: A Caribbean roots celebrity and super model joined activists and other public figures in urging airlines not to carry deported Jamaicans from the UK, and the appeal has now partially worked.
The UK Home Office Jamaica deportation flight, scheduled for Wednesday, will now not include immigrants who came to the UK as children.
The decision came after 82 black public figures, including Jamaican-roots model Naomi Campbell, urged airlines in a letter, not to carry up to 50 Jamaicans on the Home Office deportation flight.
Campbell was born in Streatham, South London to Jamaican-born dancer Valerie Morris.
Seth Ramocan, of the Jamaica High Commission in London, told the Guardian that following diplomatic overtures to the Home Office, officials agreed not to deport Jamaicans who came to Britain under the age of 12.
ITV News said the letter, signed also by Campbell, stated: “We have grounds to believe that one of your firms may be planning to operate the flight planned for 2nd December.
We are writing to ask you to decline to operate the flight on the 2nd December and to pause the operation of deportation flights to Commonwealth countries for the foreseeable future.
“There are a number of important reasons why such flights are wholly inappropriate at this time and risk the unlawful and wrongful removal of people who have the right to remain in the UK.”
The letter outlined concerns raised by the Equality and Human Rights Commission that the Government’s ‘hostile environment’ policies breach equality laws and discriminate against black people.
It also referred to the recent resignation of senior black civil servant Alexandra Ankrah who resigned from the Windrush compensation scheme raising concerns the program was systemically racist and unfit for purpose.
“These developments call into question the Home Office’s competency to deal with the continuing injustices it has created,” the letter said.
The charter flights to Jamaica are controversial because of the Windrush scandal and because some earmarked for deportation came to the UK as children and had families there.
The last charter flight to Jamaica was in February. This Wednesday, however, some 20 people are due to fly to Jamaica since none arrived in the UK before the age of 12.
A UK Home Office has said: “We make no apology for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals to keep the public safe. Each week we remove foreign criminals from the UK to different countries who have no right to be here; this flight is no different. The people being detained for this flight include convicted murderers and rapists.”