Deportees served their time
THE EDITOR, Madam:
The Gleaner recently published an article online about individuals deported from the United Kingdom because they committed a criminal offence at some point while in the UK. All had lived in the UK, I understand, for many years, most, if not all, having come here as children. All have served their sentence for whatever crime they committed, so they are not recently released by any means. Many, it seems, have gone on to work, have families, and contribute to the society and the economy.
Many people here in the UK are outraged at this deportation. The UK government is intent on creating a hostile environment. Please note that there has been NO indication that the government here intends to deport anyone living in the UK from, for example, New Zealand or Australia, who has committed a criminal offence.
Rolf Harris, a well-known (worldwide) entertainer, was jailed for the indecent assault of teenage girls and sentenced to over five years in prison. He was released from prison some time ago but there is no indication that he is to be returned to Australia, his country of origin.
NO WHITE DEPORTEES
I believe that the UK government is acting in a way that has undertones of penal transportation and very definite overtones of racism. It would appear that no white people are to be deported in this way.
You may be aware that there are a number of campaigns running over here urging people to put pressure on the UK government to stop illegal deportations.
Deportees may well have committed a crime, but they have served their sentences for that. I used to believe that the prison system in the UK was a rehabilitative one but it would seem that this is not the case and that those who, since they were children, believed the UK to be home may now be in Jamaica with very few ties or connections there.
I was heartened to see on your news report that there are arrangements in place in Kingston for those who have no family to advise and support them.