My constituents rightly expect that I support measures which remove those who have no right to be in the UK, including dangerous foreign criminals. Foreign criminals should be in no doubt of the Home Office’s determination to remove them, and I will make no apology for supporting the removal of foreign offenders to keep the public safe.
The Home Secretary is required by the UK Borders Act 2007 to deport any foreign national who has received a custodial sentence of at least 12 months and those convicted of serious crimes, are persistent offenders or who represent a threat to national security, unless a specified exception applies.
It is also the case that the UK only deports those whom the Home Office or courts, when a legal claim is raised, are satisfied do not need protection and have no legal basis to remain in the UK. I welcome the fact that every individual who meets the threshold for deportation is given access to legal advice and support and importantly has an opportunity to challenge their removal through the legal system.
The UK is one of the few countries in the world providing support to help people re-integrate upon their return. For example, the Home Office supports two non-governmental organisations in Jamaica who provide re-integration support to those who are deported. They provide initial support to those who may not have anyone to meet them at the airport or who need transport. They are also able to help with short-term accommodation for those without a place to stay. In the longer term, they can provide training, including recognised qualifications, to enable individuals to find employment and help with obtaining documentation.
While we may not agree on every point, I hope with this response I have been able to outline why and how deportations of this kind happen.