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UK to deport 5,700 migrants to Rwanda this year

Photo : AP

The UK revealed plans to deport 5,700 migrants to Rwanda this year, targeting those who arrived between January 2022 and June last year, according to a statement from the interior ministry. The announcement came shortly after the government passed legislation to implement the controversial scheme, aimed at deterring migrant arrivals on small boats from northern Europe.

Rwanda has tentatively agreed to accept the migrants, with over 2,000 of them identified for detention before deportation. Health Secretary Victoria Atkins stated that law enforcement agencies will locate the remaining migrants, emphasizing that the goal is to remove them from the UK by the end of the year.

These migrants, whose asylum claims are deemed inadmissible, face deportation to Rwanda under the scheme. The decision to send migrants to Rwanda underscores the challenges of managing irregular arrivals and the limitations of the government's strategy.

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Under the plan, asylum claims will be assessed by authorities in Kigali. Approved migrants will be allowed to stay in Rwanda but won't be permitted to return to the UK. While Rwanda is praised for its stability and infrastructure, critics raise concerns about human rights under President Paul Kagame's regime.

The UK parliament passed the Safety of Rwanda Bill to facilitate the deportation plan, overriding a Supreme Court ruling that previously deemed such deportations illegal. The new law also grants decision-makers the authority to disregard certain human rights laws.

Critics, including opposition parties and rights groups, have condemned the policy, arguing that it undermines human rights protections. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's government defends the initiative as part of efforts to reduce immigration levels, citing concerns about public services and wages.

Home Secretary James Cleverly highlighted a significant drop in student visa applications as evidence of the effectiveness of immigration policies. However, he emphasized that more measures are planned to further reduce net migration to the UK.

The government aims to cut annual net migration by 300,000, implementing various measures to tighten immigration rules and address public concerns about immigration levels.

April 30, 2024 5:36 p.m. 3679

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