What Happens to the Families who are left behind after

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
4 April 2022

Families for Justice is a group of women, mums, wives, partners and daughters who have suffered, or might suffer, the consequences of the UK immigration policies.  They recently wrote a report about deportation, based on their own lived experiences and the help they gave others, and they have become a source of strength and solidarity for people in this position. The report makes recommendations, based on their experience, as to alternatives to deportation.  

The report examined how UK deportation laws negatively affect the lives of women and children.  The report’s forward by Bella Sankey, the Director of Detention Action, notes how the UK’s current deportation laws are “an affront to compassion and common sense” and are “built on decades of racism and xenophobia”.   The report presents evidence and accounts of the impact of deportation on families, and looks at five individual case studies, each told in the words of the women affected. 

Overall, the report finds that little if any thought is given to the British families harmed by deportation and they are left alone to deal with discrimination, oppression, poverty and numerous barriers to justice.  A particular focus on the report is the impact that deportation has on the children of those deported, and Families for Justice members state that the Home Office is failing to consider its own guidance on assessing and understanding the impact and risk posed to children directly affected by deportation decisions. 

The economic impact of deportation is also highlighted, noting it turns many women into single parents, depriving children of fathers, and leaving families financially and socially disadvantaged with no additional support from the Government.  

They suggest that the automatic deportation scheme should be replaced with a discretionary scheme that allows deportation decisions that are genuinely in the public interest, and in circumstances where Article 8 barriers do not exist.  The deportation decision making process should include the practice of child rights impact assessments, and get the perspective and views of children during the deportation decisions where children are identified.