‘I don’t know which part mi deh’

February 07, 2019
Gladstone Taylor
Pam (left), a 55-year-old deportee from the United Kingdom, hugs an unnamed friend after leaving the Harman Barracks detention centre, yesterday, February 6. She was the sole woman among a group of 29 deportees.
Gladstone Taylor Pam (left), a 55-year-old deportee from the United Kingdom, hugs an unnamed friend after leaving the Harman Barracks detention centre, yesterday, February 6. She was the sole woman among a group of 29 deportees.

Twenty-nine deportees arrived in Jamaica from the United Kingdom (UK) in a chartered flight at the Norman Manley International Airport yesterday.

The Home Office in the UK described the people on the plane as "serious foreign criminals", and justified sending them to Jamaica despite the various campaigns staged to keep them in the UK.

The only female among the deportees was Pam, who said she's been living in the UK for 26 years. She said that she has left her five children behind.

Pam says she was convicted of overstaying, but was trying to get regularised when she was deported. Apart from her Jamaican accent, she said Jamaica is now foreign to her.

"I don't know, I just come to Jamaica. I don't even know which part mi deh. The plane land mi not even know seh a di airport dat. Mi not even know nowhere. I come here, I have to rely on people to show me everything. I want to dial a number back to England, I couldn't dweet cause I don't know how to do it," she said.

She felt that the Government did not do enough to fight for the persons to remain in the UK. A relative who came to meet her, was equally disappointed in how the Jamaican Government handled the situation.

He was also concerned about how the Government would handle those deportees who do not have any relatives here. He felt they would also have problems reintegrating into society.

"They are going to get lost, those people who have never been back, they will never find their way. Who's going to employ them?" he said.

He suggested that not all deportees are criminals, just victims of the British immigration laws.

"It's not everybody selling drugs, they just work. But unfortunately, they lack documentation, and immigration laws change every year, and it's sad. It's so sad," he said.

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