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Author: Luke de Noronha

Deporting Black Britons provides an ethnographic account of deportation from the UK to Jamaica. It traces the painful stories of four men who were deported after receiving criminal convictions in the UK. For each of the men, all of whom had moved to the UK as children, deportation was lived as exile – from parents, partners, children and friends – and the book offers portraits of survival and hardship in both the UK and Jamaica. Based on over four years of research, Deporting Black Britons describes the human consequences of deportation, while situating deportation stories within the broader context of policy, ideology, law and violence. It examines the relationship between racism, criminalisation and immigration control in contemporary Britain, suggesting new ways of thinking about race, borders and citizenship in these anti-immigrant times. Ultimately, the book argues that these stories of exile and banishment should orient us in the struggle against violent immigration controls, in the UK and elsewhere.

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Citizenship and the racist world order
Luke de Noronha

Chapter 7 Post-deportation: citizenship and the racist world order The chapters so far have focused mostly on racism, criminalisation and immigration control in Britain, even if narrated from Jamaica. In this chapter, however, I want to think from and about Jamaica, questioning what deported people encounter when they return, and what their experiences reveal about citizenship in global perspective. Where the previous chapter offered some tools for theorising hierarchies of (non-)citizenship in contemporary Britain, this chapter explores hierarchies of

in Deporting Black Britons
Meanings of development and the ordering of (im)mobility
Luke de Noronha

Chapter 8 Deportation as foreign policy: meanings of development and the ordering of (im)mobility In the last chapter, I developed a critical account of citizenship from the perspective of the ‘deportee’. I described people’s struggles post-deportation, with a particular focus on Chris’s experiences in East Kingston, and argued that poverty, insecurity and frustrated mobilities characterise citizenship for Jamaica’s poor more generally. In this sense, the effective immobilisation of ‘deportees’ is symptomatic of the wider function of citizenship as a global

in Deporting Black Britons
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Luke de Noronha

homeless men, in two large dormitories and a handful of single rooms, and a significant proportion of the residents are ‘deportees’ from the UK and North America (I use scare quotes around ‘deportee’ throughout because the term has some pejorative connotations in the Jamaican context).1 I visited Open Arms several times, to meet men who had been deported from the UK. One afternoon as I was leaving the compound, unsatisfied with my interviews and troubled by my observations, I noticed a young man sitting in the shade, at some distance from everyone else, using what looked

in Deporting Black Britons
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Luke de Noronha

room. I asked how his first Christmas in Jamaica had been, and he replied: ‘Shit … really shit’. We sat in silence for a moment. Denico then showed me a video of Tamara and Maisy, aged six and three, opening presents back in the UK. The girls were excitedly showing him their presents, sending a Christmas message to their ‘second dad’. I said they were very sweet, and he didn’t respond. I wasn’t sure whether he wanted to show me the video, or whether he just wanted to watch it again. Denico always made clear that the most painful thing about deportation was the

in Deporting Black Britons
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Witnessing deportation and hierarchies of (non-)citizenship
Luke de Noronha

Chapter 6 Family and friends: witnessing deportation and hierarchies of (non-)citizenship The previous four chapters examined how and why Jason, Ricardo, Chris and Denico were deported. By describing pro­cesses of criminalisation, illegalisation and expulsion, I developed a critical account of immigration controls in contemporary Britain. In Jason’s chapter, I argued that deportation begins long before anyone gets on a plane, which means that immigration controls both produce and shape various forms of inequality within Britain. When discussing Ricardo

in Deporting Black Britons
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Luke de Noronha

overwhelming calm, a pleasant slowness about things. He laughed often, usually a kind of chuckle, often repeating what I had said as his smile broke into a short laugh. He is not a person who mocks or jibes; he is kind rather than quick-witted, gentle rather than dominating. Already, I had the sense that we would get to know one another well. 63 DBB.indb 63 17/07/2020 14:07:09 Deporting Black Britons Ricardo grew up in Smethwick, a town in the West Midlands that in 1964 had been host to ‘the most racist election campaign ever fought in Britain’.1 He did not know about

in Deporting Black Britons
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Luke de Noronha

intelligent man, and his thoughtful and analytical way of ‘telling his life’ made him the ideal interlocutor. He likes to talk, and he is very consistent with the things he says about his past, even when they are defined by contradiction. When I first visited Chris at the guesthouse, he met me at the gate wearing a Chelsea shirt, and immediately offered me a cup of tea – a familiar gesture in the wrong place. On that 89 DBB.indb 89 17/07/2020 14:07:10 Deporting Black Britons first evening, he spoke about his predicament in Kingston and described his former life in

in Deporting Black Britons
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Luke de Noronha

Chapter 2 Jason Jason was the first deported person from the UK I met in Jamaica. It was my second day on the island, in September 2015, and I was following Ossie from the National Organization of Deported Migrants (NODM) around. He had invited deported persons to the Salvation Army facility in downtown Kingston, where they could have their pictures taken for their national identity card applications. I sat quietly in the corner, my legs sticking to the old leather seat I perched on, while three staff from NODM stood puzzling over a printer. A few people were

in Deporting Black Britons
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Luke de Noronha

Chapter 9 Conclusion The world does not stand still, and yet writing relies on pressing the pause button somewhere. As Les Back puts it, we are ‘writing against time, trying to capture an outline of an existence that is fleeting’.1 Pressing pause, then, is inevitable and ethnographic accounts are always incomplete and out of date. That said, I want to update the portraits here, writing as I am in autumn 2019, if only to remind the reader that life goes on, that deportation is not ‘the end’ and that people mostly find ways to survive. This feels important in a

in Deporting Black Britons