The Home Office has started to deport Jamaicans back to their home country, in part as a show of defiance to ongoing legal challenges to the deportations.
It is understood that 17 people were deported in a Home Office flight this morning. A further 25 Jamaicans were saved by last-minute legal challenges but there is no guarantee they won’t be deported in the near future.
The government maintains the people deported are all convicted criminals who have been handed down prison sentences of 12 months or more.
For its part, the government seems determined to press ahead with the deportations, no matter how high the political or moral cost.
Hardline Chancellor Sajid Javid told BBC Radio 5 Live that: “it is absolutely right that when they [the Jamaicans] have served their sentence that we send them out of the country”.
“They are not British nationals, they are not members of the Windrush generation, they are all foreign national offenders”, Javid added.
Behind the scenes, it is believed that one of the driving forces for a tougher immigration policy is Dominic Cummings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s controversial chief special adviser.
Cummings described last night’s Court of Appeal suspension of some of the deportations as “a perfect symbol of the British state’s dysfunction”.
He is reported to have said that there must be “urgent action on the farce that judicial review has become”.