It is unclear to me why the Home Secretary considers it is now an appropriate time to restart charter deportation flights to Jamaica. Victims of the Windrush scandal have still not received compensation and the Windrush “lessons learned” review has not reported. The hostile environment policy also remains in place.
The Government has stated that those on board were serious foreign national offenders, but I have concerns that, after Windrush, the Government has not yet proved it has the processes in place needed to ensure the wrong people do not end up on such flights.
There are longstanding concerns about the way migrants are treated on forced removal flights. On a general point of principle, I think the practice of deporting people to countries they have little or no connection with should be stopped.
We need a complete change of policy and approach at the Home Office and I would like to see the hostile environment policy ended for good.
More widely, I oppose indefinite detention and instead support a 28-day limit on immigration detention. Yarl’s Wood and Brook House immigration detention centres should be closed, with the £20 million a year in savings from these closures instead directed to support services for survivors of modern slavery, trafficking and domestic violence.
I can assure you that I will continue to call for a fairer and more humane immigration system.