The Jamaican public often gets confused over the deportation process. It’s an emotive topic in many ways, and sometimes sensationalised – but there IS a process and it is often complex. The deportation of a group of Jamaicans from the UK recently has sparked some questions: How many were deported? Were they all actually Jamaicans? etc. There are many unhappy personal stories of disappointment, broken families and failure among deportees, so there will always be great interest among the public. Perhaps there’s a better way of reporting these issues, though; and perhaps the powers that be could educate us a bit more on such matters.
Here is today’s Press Release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade:
HIGH COMMISSIONER RESPONDS TO ALLEGATIONS IN MEDIA
(MFA&FT Kingston: March 13, 2017)
Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Seth George Ramocan has set the record straight in respect of media reports regarding the recent deportation of Jamaican nationals from the UK.
Speaking on a radio programme on Thursday, March 9, the High Commissioner indicated that there is grave misunderstanding of how the deportation process works, as well as the role played by the High Commission.
H.C. Ramocan explained that the process takes a significant period of time, despite the impression created by some that this was a sudden occurrence happening overnight and out of the blue.
Speaking specifically on the charter flight which arrived in Jamaica on Wednesday, March 8, HC Ramocan revealed that he and a team from the High Commission visited 20 nationals housed at a detention centre, who were earmarked for deportation.
It was discovered that two individuals, who had indicated their willingness to voluntarily depart, were amongst the detainees. Following consultations with the authorities, they were removed from the deportation list, once it was revealed that the records supported their claim.
Two other individuals, one who had an on-going appeal before the court system and another who was ill, were also removed from the list following interventions by the High Commission.
Addressing media reports that stated 100 persons were expected on the flight, HC Ramocan pointed out that only 32 persons had been returned.
HC Ramocan commended human rights advocates who provide free immigration services to persons scheduled for deportation, and the British Government for their willingness to collaborate and provide humanitarian assistance, citing the strong relations between the two countries as the foundation for cooperation on the matter.