Doubling up the desire to punish

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The fact that some of the 285 people (268 men, 17 women) deported to Eastern Europe by the British Government during the COVID-19 restrictions (April –June 2020) had spent criminal convictions – including a mother who had served a six month sentence and was separated from her 11 year old son – is a clear demonstration of the deep cynicism that is in line with both the UK Government’s indifference towards people with insecure immigration status, and their desire to doubly punish people who have fallen through the cracks of the legal system by stripping them off their right to remain.  

The fact that this deportation process cost £1,105,931, involved 374 immigration officers, and did not offer a single test to any person being deported, is further proof of the Government’s preparedness to place marginalised people, alongside those employed to deport them, and everyone they subsequently come across when they land – at risk of infection. 

This latest injustice, underlining as it does the fact that there is neither a rational public health approach towards the health and safety of the population as a whole or towards people with insecure status in particular, only reinforces the Status Now Network’s commitment to StatusNow4All.