Families for Justice was brought about by Detention Action in 2020 where we met shortly after a charter flight to Jamaica was challenged on the basis of poor access to legal advice. The network members have different lived experiences within the policies of deportation and we formed wanting to give the different experiences the space they needed to bring their stories and experiences to the forefront.  Families for Justice is an array of courageous wives, mothers, daughters, aunts and friends with the same connection.  A connection that has brought us together in the cruellest and most hurtful way possible by our loved ones being torn apart from our families.  Our stories do mirror each other in certain ways however we are not a monolith of experience and this space is important in collating our experiences. Bringing together more people to share their stories gives a broader picture of the problems we are facing and how as a collective we can challenge those that think they know better.

We as a collective decided to write about our experiences to show how barbaric the Home Office has been about their unjust decisions that affect our children's lives forever.  These decisions will have an everlasting impact on lives left behind the children now learning how to live without a parent, struggling with abandonment issues through no fault of their own.  Many of us are still struggling with PTSD because of the ordeals we have been through and continue to go through.  The children are made to suffer the most as most of them will be too young to fully understand what is going on. One day they are able to see their dad, uncle, brother etc the next day he is out of their lives and only able to communicate through the phone.  Children don’t understand these things, they understand something has changed and they weren’t given a choice over it.  This is our children’s future at stake, their mental wellbeing, their happiness, their joy.  So many children are now in pain which can manifest in so many ways. This government has done nothing to help them, just wants to ignore us and the children.

The report ‘Separated Families: Unjust Deportations and the Families Left Behind’ has been broken down into sections to show the impact on the families that have gone through or are going through the deportation process and how much the process costs not only in monetary terms but in the mental and emotional cost these impacts have been ignored when the Home Office or the Immigration Judges make life changing decisions.  What happens to the rest of the family when one family member is removed?  The rest of the family is left to struggle, left to live on benefits due to not having help looking after children, left to juggle the emotional needs of the children whilst trying to cope with their own emotional needs, left to support their loved ones that are in a different country trying to survive.  We wrote the report to shine a light on the pain that we are going through in the hope that the mood will change and that the children will start to be put at the forefront of these decisions in the future.  We are still fighting for our loved ones which is very tiring very draining and very emotional, however when we are supporting each other as we do it makes the fight that little bit easier, because when we talk within our group there is no judgement, no malice we are all there for the same purpose to win this fight!

With this report we would like there to be more discussions about the impact on children over these deportations, the rights of children being ignored when a parent is removed.  The children's needs and wants to be acknowledged.  For there to be more collaborative work between the Immigration department and the Family law courts because it seems ok for a parent to be taken away under the Immigration policies but is handled differently under the family court umbrella.  When an Immigration case involves children in any way there should be someone advocating for the child at all costs and the Immigration Judges need to acknowledge the facts on how these deportations can have serious ramifications on the child's future prospects.  For a child to have two loving parents at home that can look after them better or to have one parent at home that is ‘coping’.

Download the report
Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) is a registered Charity No. 1077187. Registered in England as a Limited Company No. 03803669. Accredited by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner Ref. No. N200100147. We are a member of the Fundraising Regulator, committed to best practice in fundraising and follow the standards for fundraising as set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice.
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