Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
Caller awaiting deportation to Jamaica shares harrowing story with David Lammy
7 August 2021, 18:56
This caller is being held in a deportation centre to be sent to Jamaica next week – despite being in the UK since age 2.
The Home Office is sending a charter flight to Jamaica on 11 August filled with people who have served time in British Prisons, some of whom haven't ever set foot on the Caribbean island.
David Lammy spoke to Omar, who arrived in the UK aged two and has spent the remaining 22 years of his life in Britain.
"I came to England when I was two years old and they're trying to deport me on my convictions of the past, when I was a minor, from the ages of 14 to 17," he told David.
The caller revealed he was being detained in Colinbrook awaiting deportation in a matter of days.
He was audible stressed and confused: "I don't have an accent, my first language is English, I learned how to speak here."
He admitted to having "no family over there" after David asked if he knew anyone on the ground in Jamaica.
"I have no idea what i'm gonna do," he admitted, adding that he is leaving a two-year-old son behind.
The caller revealed he had served four and a half years for possession with intent to supply cocaine and heroin, but never thought he'd be deported after serving his sentence.
"You've served your time and we're not in the business of deporting people, we stopped doing that when we stopped sending people to Australia," David said.
"I've never left England since I came here, I've been here most of my life – basically all of my life."
He admitted to not having a British passport because he never needed one: "When they came to me talking about deportation, I was surprised because I thought I was a British citizen."
"Are you scared?" David asked. Omar admitted he was fearful of the future: "My life could change at any given moment, they're sending me to a country I don't know."
"I want my son to grow up and have a dad."
He also admitted that the staff in the detention centre haven't been helpful.
"They're just doing stuff to make people not be able to sort out their situation, it's all a bit dodgy."