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The Social Limits to Equality

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Abstract

On 28 July 1993 three officers from Britain’s Aliens Deportation Group (ADG) arrived at the north London flat of Joy Gardner to deport her. Gardner had been born in Jamaica, but had come to Britain six years earlier. Her mother, Myrna Simpson, had lived in Britain for more than 33 years. Her half-brother, three uncles, and two aunts also lived in Britain. She was married to a British citizen and her son, Graeme, was born in Britain. Under Britain’s immigration laws, however, Gardner was considered to be an ‘illegal immigrant’. The immigration authorities declared her marriage to be fraudulent and imposed a deportation order on her. The officers from the ADG manacled her with leg, arm and body belts, cuffed her hands and bound 13 feet of sticky tape around her body, including seven times around her face. Gardner died from asphyxiation. When the three officers involved were tried for unlawful killing, they were found not guilty. The Daily Mail declared the verdict to be correct because ‘Gardner had no right to be in Britain in the first place’.1

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© Kenan Malik 1996

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