Court Case Saw UK Government Waste £286k on Deportation Flights That Didn’t Happen

Air Traffic Control Engineers use screens displaying real-time panoramic views of the runways and docking gates, as they work on a non-operational trial in the NATS Digital Tower Laboratory, inside the control tower at London Heathrow Airport in west London on January 23, 2019. - Air traffic management service NATS …
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A court case intended to disrupt the British government’s policy of deporting illegals to their home countries saw chartered flights suspended for three months, at a cost to the taxpayer of £268,463.

Deportation flights on chartered aircraft were suspended in March 2019, after the preliminary High Court hearing about a case brought against the Home Office by charity Medical Justice ruled the practice had to be suspended while the case was ongoing, reports Britain’s Guardian newspaper. The case claimed the practice of not giving migrants the exact date of their deportation deprived them of the opportunity to instruct their lawyers to act to prevent it form happening.

The flights resumed in July after a three-month hiatus. Research by an anti-deportation campaign group found the government had spent £268,463.44 on charter deportation flights that never happened in that period. Open borders advocates cited by the newspaper celebrated the short break in deportation flights. One said: “While it’s shocking that the Home Office was spending hundreds of thousands of pounds when the flights were not running, it’s even more shocking that this controversial and inhumane practice is still happening at all.”

A Home Office spokesman said of the flights: “The Home Office makes enforced returns by both charter flights and regular scheduled flights. Charters are an important means to return foreign national offenders and immigration offenders where there are limited scheduled routes or where returnees may be disruptive.”

Disrupting the removal of illegal immigrants is a key tactic in the toolkit of pro-mass migration advocates, and attempts to ground aircraft carrying illegals back to their countries of origin have frequently hit the headlines. One of the most infamous was the protest action of Swedish immigration activist Elin Ersson, who boarded a passenger flight which also had a migrant being deported onboard.

Live-streaming her arguing with passengers who pleaded with her to end the protest and let the flight go ahead, Ersson told the camera confidently “this is all perfectly legal, and I have not committed a crime”. In fact, she was later prosecuted and fined while it was revealed the illegal immigrant she was intervening for had been convicted and imprisoned for assault in Sweden, and was being deported upon his release.

In another similar case, a dozen activists in the United Kingdom prevented a deportation flight carrying a Somalian illegal in 2018 who was revealed to be a convicted gang rapist and an associate for an Islamic State Jihadist. One of the Somalian rapist’s victims spoke out against the resistance by the activists, saying: “How could you defend a rapist? How could you intervene? He was in handcuffs, he was being taken out of the country… who are you people to interfere with justice?

“‘You think that was a bad scream? Try hearing the screams that I made.”

In Germany, pilots themselves have taken part in protests against deportations, with 222 flights in 2017 not taking off from the country because airline officers refused to take off with deportees on board.

Yet the practice may fall into abeyance under the new British, nominally Conservative government of Boris Johnson, which is considering launching an amnesty for illegal migrants provided they have remained in the country undetected long enough. Controlling immigration remains an important topic at the ballot box, however, and a petition calling on the government to not offer an amnesty for illegals hit the threshold to require an official response within a matter of days.

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