The following written question was replied to on November 22nd 2021:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken following the remarks by the High Commissioner for Jamaica on 4 November: “from a human rights perspective I am deeply concerned about cases in which persons are being removed having lived in the UK since childhood and have no known relations in Jamaica or familiarity with Jamaica”. [HL3845]
Baroness Williams of Trafford: We are committed to an immigration policy which welcomes and celebrates people here legally, but which deters illegal immigration, prevents the abuse of benefits and services, removes immigration offenders and foreign national offenders from the UK and disrupts the Organised Crime Groups that prey on the vulnerable.
We worked very closely with the authorities in Jamaica and the Jamaican High Commission in the UK in the planning of this charter flight. The Government is clear that foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them. Under the UK Borders Act 2007, the Home Secretary is required by law to make a deportation order in respect of a foreign national convicted in the UK and sentenced to at least 12 months’ imprisonment, unless an exception applies.
A person’s age upon arrival to the UK or length of time they have lived in the UK are not exceptions to automatic deportation but may be relevant factors, as well as the strength of their social, cultural and family ties in the UK, in considering whether a human rights exception applies. All human rights claims and claims to have been a victim of modern slavery are fully considered and determined before deportation including, where applicable, via the Courts.
The Home Office supports two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Jamaica who provide reintegration support to those who are deported. This includes initial reception support and longer-term support including training and skills to enable them to find employment within Jamaica. They can also provide emotional and wellbeing support to those who need it. The UK is one of the few countries in the world who provide this support.