subscribe: Posts | Comments

Windrush: National Day of Action called


open letter, Home Secretary, Windrush scandal, BAME L4J, campaign, Windrush National Day of Actionstop deportations, ‘The inhumane practice of wholesale removal of people on charter flights must stop’.

A number of British national and regional, black and ethnic minority lawyers, organisations, community groups and significant individuals, under the banner Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Lawyers 4 Justice, (BAME L4J), an unprecedented number of organisations and individuals from across the country have signed an open letter to the Home Secretary demanding an immediate halt to any future deportation cBlaksoxharter flights.

BAME Lawyers 4 Justice is an umbrella platform comprising of Society of Black Lawyers, BARAC UK, Blaksox, Windrush Action and a number of Windrush campaign groups from across the UK challenging Windrush injustices and the government’s “hostile environment” immigration policy.

In addition, the BAME L4J coalition has called for a Windrush National Day of Action, demanding justice for Windrush victims and the urgent reform of a British immigration system that treats black British people as third class citizens.

All across the country, local groups will meet on 23 February 2019 to develop local plans for this nationwide justice initiative, the details of which will be announced in the next few weeks.

Lawyer Jacqueline McKenzie, founder of both the Organisation for Migration Advice and Research and Windrush Action, said: “I’m very concerned that the government hasn’t heeded the advice of Stephen Shaw, who led an inquiry into detention centres and reported last July.

“He made it clear that it was wrong to be deporting people who were born in or spent most of their life in the UK as is the case with some of the people on the charter flight to Jamaica.

“I’m also appalled at the language used to describe the men and one woman who were deported as being serious criminals when we find that this may not be the case at all.

“We’re hearing now of one young man who was deported after a juvenile offence and a further offence of dangerous driving who is now being taunted in Jamaica because of the language used by the British government.

“The treatment of people affected by the Windrush crisis, mass deportations charter and discriminatory immigration rules and laws is nothing more than racist and a breach of human rights.”

Cllr Anna Rothery, Mayoral Lead Equality and Race Equality, Liverpool, said: “We condemn the heinous act of deporting people who have lived worked and contributed financially to the UK.

We have taken the best of their lives and reneged on our invitation to come, settle and work in the UK. Abandoning our elders in their old age who gave so much in their prime.

“We call on Home Secretary Sajid Javid to cease all deportations immediately.

“Liverpool,” she added, “will hold its Windrush Day of Action at Lime Street Station.”

Zita Holbourne, National Chair of BARAC UK and National Vice President of PCS, said: “The hostile environment is destroying lives and tearing families apart.

“The lack of transparency about deportations has made the distress faced even worse.

“Last year FOI requests I sent to the Home Office went unanswered for several months, despite formal complaints and instructions by the Information Commissioners to answer them.

“There was no consultation by government on restarting charter flights and given that the outcome of various reviews and consultations on Windrush has not concluded deportations should not be happening.

“The government dishonestly claimed in parliament that all deported were guilty of the most severe crimes adding to the anguish and labelling of those impacted.

“In any case all have served their time and been rehabilitated so should not face the triple punishment of prison, detention and deportation.

“The numbers who have died because of this scandal have increased and some of those targeted for deportation were awaiting the outcome of applications for the Windrush Scheme.

“The government claims that there was no Windrush link for those targeted but the truth is that Britain’s history of enslavement and colonial rule led to those told they were part of the British Empire coming to the UK to help the country recover post WWII and subsequently to being joined by children and grandchildren – who are now being told they do not belong here.

“Furthermore some of those targeted served in the British Armed Forces on active duty and should have been granted British citizenship once discharged.

“The inhumane practice of wholesale removal of people on charter flights must stop. There must be an independent public inquiry into the Windrush scandal.”

And immigration lawyer Connie Sozi said: “The government promised to put things right with the Windrush Generation.

“However, the unjust, speedy and opaque manner in which the charter flight to Jamaica was pursued; the untruths told to justify removal; the failure to carry out reasonable checks to ensure no Windrush migrants were removed; and continuing delay in formulating the Windrush Compensation Scheme to provide redress for human rights violations all show the government is not to be trusted.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *