Stop all charter flight deportations to Jamaica and other Commonwealth countries

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Given the current Windrush debacle: the recent apology by the Government, promises of justice and compensation to people of the Windrush generation and others who came to the UK from Commonwealth countries threatened with deportation, there should be no mass deportations of anybody from those countries at this time.

We started this petition after learning that the government has organised a charter flight to Jamaica which could be departing the UK as early as Thursday 3rd of May with those of the Windrush generation on it. Although we believe from our contact with the Home Office  that the deportations on this particular  flight in May  has been stopped, the Home Office were not able to confirm that deportation flights to the Caribbean, including  Jamaica would be stopped after May and  we’re calling for all deportation flights to commonwealth countries be stopped too.

Last week both Theresa May and Amber Rudd apologised for the treatment of Windrush generation people in Britain threatened with forced removal. Theresa May said; "Those who arrived from the Caribbean before 1973 and lived here permanently without significant periods of time away in the last 30 years have the right to remain in the UK as do the vast majority of long term residents who arrived later and I don't want anybody to be in doubt about their right to remain here in the United Kingdom."

Charter flights are used for mass deportations to a single country. People are detained and removed on such flights sometimes within 2 weeks, leaving very little time to get legal support and appeal, seeking a Judicial Review.

I am the National Chair & Co-founder of  BARAC - Black Activists Rising Against Cuts.

We know of two women who were detained at Yarls Wood and were booked onto the flight to Jamaica and we have seen the removal notice of one. One woman, Yvonne Williams, has since been taken off the flight and is no longer in detention. Since starting this petition, the other woman - 63 year old Yvonne Smith, has been taken off too and released from the detention centre after being there for nine months.

We oppose such mass deportations and until the Government has set out a clear policy on which people from Commonwealth countries are protected, they should not be authorising charter flights.

We further call on the government to address the issue of justice for those who have already been deported to Commonwealth countries to include return to the UK if they wish to, permanent leave to remain in the UK and British citizens if they wish and compensation for their losses to date and the trauma they and their families have experienced.

Please sign my petition.

Zita Holbourne

Further info about charter flights can be found here; 

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