With the Tories distracted by Brexit, it was perhaps inevitable that they would not see the return of the Windrush generation and all those “hostile environment” deportations until it hit them in the face. That moment came yesterday, as Home Secretary Sajid Javid, faced with clearing up the mess bequeathed him by Theresa May, finally apologised to some of those British citizens who had been unlawfully thrown out of their own country.
As the BBC has reported, “Eighteen members of the Windrush generation who could have been wrongfully removed or detained are to get a formal apology … Home Secretary Sajid Javid said a review of 11,800 cases had identified the 18 as those ‘most likely to have suffered detriment’”. But then came another of those unfortunate statistics.
“They are among 164 people who may have been wrongfully deported or detained”. Er, hello? That’s a rather bigger number than that previously admitted. Small wonder “Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said the ‘overdue’ apology was ‘nowhere near good enough’”. Ms Abbott continued “The government has still not got a final figure on how many of our fellow citizens were deported, forced into so-called 'voluntary removals' or detained as prisoners in their own country”. Quite.
The Guardian had more inconvenient news for the Government. “All 164 people have no criminal records; the government has chosen not to release the numbers of people it may have wrongly detained or deported who have any sort of criminal record”. Sajid Javid’s recent appearance on The Andy Marr Show™ has more on that.
And that transcript may prove difficult for Javid to explain away. He said, of those illegally or wrongly deported, “we think it’s 63”. He went on “Of that 63 it is worth pointing out though that 32 are foreign national offenders, so they were serious offenders that were deported after they finished their prison sentence”. Have a think about that.
When Marr asked “How many of them are you in touch with now?” Javid replied “Well, of the offenders, of the serious offenders, I’m not in touch with any of them, and I’m not going to get in touch with any of them because I don’t want them back in our country, they can stay where they are”. The Home Secretary admitted that 32 people had been wrongly or illegally deported, then said that was OK as they were criminals.
Couple that with the Guardian report, and the thought enters that a form of modern-day transportation may have taken place. If any or all of those 32 were British Citizens - Javid called them “foreign national offenders” but had already let slip that they were part of the “Windrush total” of deportations, and that was the subject under discussion - then the Home Office has done something which may please the press, but is blatantly illegal.
So how many, in addition to the 164 now admitted, have been thrown out because of their criminal record? This is serious: no White British criminal, whatever the severity of the crime, would be deported after serving their sentence, even if they were not in possession of a valid passport. So why deport Britons who are not white?
Sajid Javid’s Marr Show admission was very useful. Except, possibly, for him.
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