The start of mass deportations to Ghana…
Mr. Green looked like a colonial administrator when he gave a lecture to the ‘natives’ about the dangers of migrating to the UK. In his speech to an audience at the University of Ghana, Green gloated over the British government’s complicity in the deaths of African migrants at the borders of Fortress Europe.
He warned Ghanaians not to risk the overland migration route to the UK: “Travelling through the Sahara desert in the back of overheated trucks, claims the lives of nearly half of the people who attempt the journey”. Without shame, Mr. Green described the consequences of his immigration policy, which denies dignity to thousands of people in the UK: “The life of an undocumented migrant in the UK is not a happy one. You will be exploited by unscrupulous employers, who will pay you far below the amount you need to survive. You will live in squalid conditions, because you can’t afford rent. Many irregular migrants end up working in the sex industry or as domestic slaves. They have nobody to turn to”.
True to Britain’s colonial legacy, Green approved the use of the ‘brain-drain’ to cherry-pick African wealth: “We will prioritise … researchers and scientists destined for employment in the sectors where Britain excels…We will continue to welcome the brightest and best to our workplaces and universities”. Of course, Big Business will face no restrictions on the movement of its chief executives: “The senior business roles covered by the Intra-Company Transfer route, serving some of the biggest and most profitable firms in the UK, will not be affected by our limit.“
Despite recongising that the 84,000 strong British-Ghanaian community is one of the “UK’s largest and longest standing communities“, behind the scenes Green was planning the destruction of this community with his political weapon of hate and fear: mass deportations. The British High Commission in Accra revealed that “During his visit, the Minister held constructive meetings with the Deputy Attorney General/Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr. Ebo Barton-Odro , the Deputy Minister of Interior Mr. Kwabena Acheampong, and the Director of Immigration, Dr. Peter Wiredu“. Therefore, its was no surprise that Green told the audience with confidence that: “The Government takes a strong line on removing those people who do not comply with immigration laws. We will remove you.“
Damian Green, announced in Parliament on 7th February 2012 that “We continue to exploit opportunities to increase returns. This includes opening and consolidating new charter routes to Ghana, Pakistan and Sri Lanka…The agency will continue to focus on maximising productivity from all its enforcement assets including reporting centres, arrest teams, immigration removal centres and charter flights.”.
The second mass expulsion of Ghanaians took place a week after this, on 15th February 2012. This flight was met with mass resistance outside the Immigration Removal Centres, where anti-deportation campaigners blocked the exit roads for 7-hours in protest. 11 people were arrested and charged with Section 14 – for causing ‘serious disruption to the life of the community’. The British-Ghanaian community could make the same charge against Damian Green.
But…isn’t Ghana an African success story?
Read about resistance to the privatisation of water supplies in Ghana