AROUND 1,000 people suspected to be illegal immigrants were deported to countries in the Caribbean in the year before the news of the Windrush scandal broke.
In total 991 people were deported to Caribbean countries, according to official figures shared by Caroline Nokes, the immigration minister.
Nokes provided the figures in response to parliamentary questions.
She said that no charter flights to the Caribbean had operated in the last 12-month period.
Home secretary Sajid Javid said that 63 people may have been wrongfully deported to Caribbean countries during an appearance in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee last month.
At the time Javid said the figures were not final and were subject to change.
Labour MP and member of the home affairs committee Stephen Doughty, who received the data from the Home Office, told The Guardian: “These are yet more shocking revelations from the Home Office over the Windrush and wider scandals which expose the costs and realities of the hostile environment policy.
“With nearly 1,000 people removed on flights to the Caribbean in just the last year alone, people will undoubtedly have a strong suspicion that more people have been wrongfully removed than the 63 the Home Office has admitted.
“Indeed, they admit themselves in these answers that they have cancelled further removals – which I have also had confirmed by officials – which suggests they know there may have been serious errors.”
Between 2015 and 2017, the government spent £52 million on deportation flights, including £17.7 million on charter flights.
Nokes said that deportations to the Caribbean had been suspended as part of the government’s response to the Windrush issues .SOURCE :