100 signatures reached
To: The Rt Hon. Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for the Home Department
Stop deportation of foreign prisoners
Scrap the law on automatic deportation for foreign nationals receiving more than 12 months prison sentence.
Why is this important?
When someone goes to prison they aren’t the only one to be punished: their children and loved ones are also punished by being separated from their father, mother, husband or wife.
When a foreign national goes to prison for more than 12 months the law says they must be automatically deported at the end of their sentence, meaning that they get punished more than twice over for their crime.
But worse than that, their families (who haven’t committed any crime) then face a stark choice between being separated forever from their loved one or being forced into exile from their country of birth and being separated from the rest of their family and friends here.
My husband was in a road accident and was devastated when he learned that he was responsible for someone’s death. This resulted in him receiving a 5-year prison sentence and, because he is a foreigner, he will be deported at the end of his time in prison.
I, too, was very sad when I learned that a person had died. I was distressed when my husband went to prison and I had to learn how to live without him. But now I am feeling anguish at having to either face a lifetime of being separated from him or to move abroad and be thousands of miles away from my family, friends and roots here in my country of birth, unable to afford the flight home to visit because flights in his country cost a fortune relative to salaries there (even assuming I can get a job given that I don’t speak the language well enough).
This law was brought in because it is Parliament’s “view” that the deportation of foreign criminals is in the public interest.
But is this really the case?
This “view” is not backed up by any evidence.
It may be comforting to think that we are safer if we deport foreign criminals but this is not the case. Aside from the fact that we may be at risk from those people any time we travel abroad, any public interest is cancelled out by the fact that at the same time as deporting foreign criminals we are also receiving British criminals deported back to the U.K. from abroad, thus punishing even more innocent families who have had nothing to do with their family member’s crime.
Even more importantly, figures published by the Ministry of Justice show that ex-offenders who live with their family are less likely to re-offend than those who don’t live with their families, and those who are homeless are more likely to re-offend. (1)
Deportation results in separation from family and can mean homelessness – in other words, deportation is actually increasing the risk to the public of re-offending.
So aside from the inhumanity of this law in punishing the innocent, it is actually CONTRARY TO THE PUBLIC INTEREST.
Thank you for reading this. If you are signing this because your own loved one is facing deportation, please try to include your own story, however brief. (After you have signed, a small box will appear on the right, saying "Tell others why you signed".)
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- see Table 4.5 on p.20 (p.26 of the pdf)