We note with dismay the plans by the Home Office to continue with mass deportations to Jamaica.
With a continuing health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic we believe that lives are at risk, as the UK government are prepared to deport men, women and children to countries where they have few, if any, links having lived the majority of their lives in this country, also placing them at risk of destitution.
We are concerned that the government is going ahead with the deportations despite the findings of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review which highlighted the an institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race and the history of the Windrush generation at the Home Office. This is now backed up by the Equality Human Rights Commission report on the development and implementation of hostile environment policies which concluded that the Home Office broke equality law and these policies impacted disproportionally upon the Windrush generation and black people validly coming into this country in later years.
We believe that the deportation plans are another area where the systemic and individualised barriers experienced by our residents lead to failure to effectively integrate race equality goals into public policy.
We will continue with our work on providing homes for our communities, building vibrant neighbourhoods and tackling homelessness.
As leaders in our sector, we believe that it is our responsibility to call out discrimination and bias especially where it affects community cohesion. We urge the government to listen to its own reviews and stop further deportations.
BME National is a collective of over 45 housing associations working in some of the most disadvantaged parts of the country. Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) housing associations were set up in the 1970s and now manage over 65,000 homes. BME National also provides a consultative and promotional platform for BME housing issues. BME National aims to highlight the contribution BME housing associations make to successful, vibrant and integrated communities while promoting equality and diversity in the delivery of housing and support services.