Home Secretary Amber Rudd remains under huge pressure to resign, following her admission today that the Home Office does have targets for the removal of Commonwealth and other citizens – on top of a series of scandals about the government’s abysmal, inhumane treatment of Windrush-generation citizens.
The existence of a newly-discovered government document, stored on official government servers, will do nothing to improve her position, because it targets Jamaican and only Jamaican residents – and is peppered with references to deportation.
Last week, the SKWAWKBOX covered a 2013 video proving that the government’s focus on returning people of Jamaican origin dates back several years – one that specifically mentions the deportation of people who have spent most of their lives in the UK, like the ‘Windrush’ citizens.
That video was no longer available on government servers and was retrieved from archives – but a similar document to that video, Coming Home to Jamaica, is still available on a government website.
And it was updated as recently as late 2015, showing its currency as a government document:
The document mentions deportation seventeen times – but even more troublingly, it makes clear that deported people will arrive in Jamaica as strangers, essentially as foreigners, in a strange land – unwelcome in the UK but not at home in Jamaica:
Fresh from the trauma of deportation from the UK, those arriving in Jamaica must be processed as immigrants – and could face police interviews and fingerprinting, as well as having to prove their Jamaican citizenship.
It appears that the government only hosts such a document for Jamaican returnees – there is no equivalent for returnees to any other country – suggesting a particular focus on, or prevalence of, UK residents of Jamaican origin.
The SKWAWKBOX contacted the Foreign Office (FCO) to check whether other versions existed and the FCO declined to answer any questions about it, insisting that the question had to go to the Home Office – Amber Rudd’s department.
The Home Office initially declined to provide a comment and did not answer the question whether only Jamaicans were targeted. It did, however, provide the following:
This document has nothing to do with people from the Windrush generation, who are in the UK legally. As the Home Secretary has made clear today, the Home Office has set up a dedicated team to help people from that group to get the right paperwork to confirm their status in the UK.
This particular document was intended to provide advice for people who have been in the UK illegally and are returning to Jamaica either voluntarily or through deportation.
This comment echoes Amber Rudd’s repeated attempts to make the discussion about illegal immigrants instead of about the hardships and anguish inflicted on British ‘Windrush’ citizens.
However, the video version of the document makes absolutely clear that those watching it may have spent hardly any of their lives in Jamaica and merely be considered by the UK to have “overstayed their immigration conditions” – exactly the situation of Windrush citizens wrongly deported for being unable to prove their status in the UK:
Together with the 2014 report that showed the government was fully aware of the impact of its policies on Jamaican-origin citizens, the Coming Home to Jamaica document is a heavy contributor to a damning weight of evidence against the current and former Home Secretaries.
Rudd’s resignation is required – but it is not even close to enough. Her predecessor and boss Theresa May has been the driving force behind the abominable treatment of UK citizens – and must join her subordinate on the way out of the door of government without delay.
The full ‘Coming Home to Jamaica’ document can also be downloaded here.
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