Migrants' Rights Network

Deportation targets and charter flights: history and latest figures

Corporate Watch have recently released a number of research reports related to the UK’s deportation practices, and the largely privatised infrastructure that underpins it.

One report reviews the history of deportation targets, currently a hot topic after the Windrush scandal exposed these targets’ inhumane consequences. Corporate Watch point out that the “hostile environment” we are currently contesting is but the latest version of a strategy conceived 20 years ago by Tony Blair and Jack Straw. It stems from the media-fuelled asylum scare that started around 1998, leading Labour, in 2000, to set a target to deport 30,000 people over the next year. This  number guided the size of the new PFI-funded and privately managed detention centres, and shaped the Immigration Enforcement system inherited by Theresa May today. It was also the beginning of what Corporate Watch call the “deterrent dogma”: make life miserable for a few people and others will leave, or not come in the first place. As any migration specialist will know, this has never worked.

Additional reports include:

An updated review of charter flights: if the Home Office deports over 12,000 people each year in “enforced returns,” the practice of mass deportation charter flights stands as perhaps the most brutal face of the UK border regime. Up to 2,000 people a year are loaded onto these secretive night flights. This update includes the latest facts and figures on charter flights, highlighting a further decline in deportation numbers, continued targeting of East Europeans, the new “Dublin” inter-European charter flights, and the use of small airports and military airbases.

Updated company profiles for G4S, Serco, Mitie and GEO Group – the main, scandal-prone “profiteers” from the UK’s privately run detention and deportation nexus.

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