Government should STOP deporting foreign-born offenders in wake of Windrush scandal

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The deportations of foreign-born offenders should be reconsidered unless they have carried out the most serious crimes, a leaked report drawn up for ministers after the Windrush scandal has said. 

The draft document from June 2019 emerged for the first time today and said convicts should only be thrown out of Britain in the ‘most severe cases’.

And anyone who arrived in the UK before the age of 13 should not be considered for deportation at all, the bombshell report says.

It came as a flight carrying people convicted of manslaughter, rape, violent crime and dealing Class-A drugs is due to take off for Jamaica next week. 

Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy says that vulnerable people on board are also being deported for relatively minor crimes. 

He told Newsnight last night: ‘It is a travesty to deport people in this way… they are spitting in the face of West Indian and Caribbean people in this country and you’ve got to call it what it is. It’s shameful’.

Making a series of recommendations, the leaked report said: ‘Government should review its policy and approach to FNOs, if necessary through primary legislation.

‘It should consider ending all deportations of FNOs where they arrived in the UK as children (say before age of 13). Alternatively – deportation should only be considered in the most severe cases.’

Last year 5,322 foreign born offenders were deported from the UK and returned to the country of their birth after committing crimes in Britain. 3,633 were from the EU and 1,689 were from the rest of the world.

The number of deportations has dropped over the past two years – and was at around 6,300 in 2016.  

The Home Office would not comment on the leaked report, but defended the pending flight.

‘The planned charter flight to Jamaica is specifically for removing foreign criminals,’ a spokeswoman said.

‘Those detained for removal include people convicted of manslaughter, rape, violent crime and dealing Class-A drugs.’

Mr Lammy told BBC current affairs programme Newsnight, which first reported the leak, that he had heard of worrying cases of pending deportations and warned of ‘institutional racism’.

‘There’s a guy who’s about to be deported who got two months for GBH,’ he told the BBC.

‘A young man I spoke to was groomed… into selling drugs, he got 15 months for selling those drugs. He was let out in 2015 and is about to be deported in 2020. If that’s not cruel and unusual punishment I don’t know what is.

‘I can’t think of another group of British nationals that would be treated with this degree of disdain and disrespect and it smacks frankly of institutional racism.’

Bella Sankey, the director of human rights charity Detention Action, said: ‘It’s shameful that the Government has suppressed the Windrush report while scheduling next week’s mass deportation flight to Jamaica.

‘We now know that one of the key recommendations of the review is that the automatic deportation of those that come to the UK as children should end. Yet Tuesday’s flight is full of such people, who, like so many of our clients, have deep roots and families in the UK.

‘This cruel policy is double and discriminatory punishment, it rips children from their parents and causes deep and lifelong trauma. After the scandal of Windrush, the Government must now make amends to the communities it has shamefully scapegoated.’

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