In this post we run an interview with the author of Life After Deportation, the personal blog of young Afghani man who is currently living under the threat of deportation from the UK. You can follow him on Twitter @deportedfromUK.
Blogging can be a powerful way to share personal stories. Yet, there are not many blogs out there by women or men in detention or who are facing deportation. For that reason, we asked the author of Life After Deportation not only about his experiences but also why he was sharing them online. Like Abdelhay Tali, whose blog Carry On was recently re-posted here, Life After Deportation offers a much needed first-hand account of the impacts of border control.
The following short biography is taken from his blog:
I arrived alone in the UK when I was 14, fleeing persecution. I built a life for myself here, going to school and college, learning English and now I am studying for an IT qualification. I have made friends and a future for myself in London, but I am facing having all of that taken away from me.
Last year I was in detention for three months and during this time I was told 7 times that a flight had been booked for me to go back to Afghanistan. I am now waiting for a decision about my final appeal to remain in the UK; whether I can stay in London and continue my life, or whether I will be forcibly removed to Afghanistan.
In my country it was like I was like a switch that was switched off, but now I live in the UK I’ve been switched on. Before I didn’t know anything, but now I know a lot and I’m learning every day about what’s happening in the world. I have built my life here, and believe that my future is here, not in Afghanistan.
The interview was carried out in 2014 between Border Criminologies (BC) and Life After Deportation (LAD) via email. The text has not been edited.
BC: What is your daily routine (if you have one)? What can a person do with their time while waiting for an outcome?
LAD: I do different things. I study. I go out with my friends. I think about my case every single day. Sometimes I see something that makes me remember my case. For example if someone has something and I can’t have it because of my status, like a driving license, university, even people going to work. Everyone has their own job, they start at one time and they know when they finish work. I can’t even have that basic routine that everyone else has.
BC: How is your case affecting the relationships you have with those who are close to you?
LAD: My case does sometimes affect my relationships. Well one thing is I can’t get married if I want to. Also I can’t go on holiday abroad with friends. I had friends in high school and now they have all gone to uni. We never met after that, because they have all continued with their lives. I had the same plans as them. Everyone has these plans, but they went forward and I stayed here.
BC: Did the time you spent in detention affect in anyway the way you spend your days now?
LAD: Before I went to detention I didn’t think much about my case or think about what was going to happen. After detention, I had to think about every single thing about my case. Before I didn’t know anything about the UK system. I was just at school with my friends. I didn’t think of anything. My friends were all relaxed about their lives, so I thought I could be relaxed too.
Now I am scared about going back to detention. I am so scared of going back to Afghanistan. When I came out of detention, I knew I had a small chance for my case because I had a judicial review. Now I know that if I go back to detention, I will have no chance of coming out, so I will be even more scared.
Going to sign is more scary because there is only one thing left in my case and that is my fresh claim. When I go to sign, I am worried for a week before. On the night before I can’t sleep. I am so scared of going to report. I take a friend with me to help me but they are usually scared too.
BC: Why did you start blogging about your deportability?
LAD: I started blogging to help people get some information about detention so that they know what will happen after they are 18. When I went into detention, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought they would send me straight back to Afghanistan that same night. Also my friends and teachers didn’t know anything about detention or what is was like so I decided to tell people.
BC: Does blogging help you in any way to cope with it all?
LAD: It helps me to write down what is happening and how I feel. It has also helped me make some contacts with other people and organisations who have helped me. I can also get new information, for example about immigration law or people tell me how I can get support.
BC: What has been the reaction of people to your blog?
LAD: People think it is a good thing to have this kind of blog because it can help people. In detention it is very secret, so we talk about it openly so people can find out. Also I can see the numbers of people who have read my posts and sometimes people say ‘good luck’ and that shows me that I am not wasting my time.
There’s always something to talk about. It’s not only one or two people who face this situation. Many others have the same situation. Then they will know what it’s like. Everyone should read my blog. It’s good for them and it’s good for me as well.
How to cite this blog post (Harvard style): Border Criminologies (2014) Blogging Personal Narratives of Deportation: Interview with Life After Deportation. Available at:/ (Accessed [date]).