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Sat. May 25th, 2024

A senior minister announced on Tuesday that the United Kingdom is set to deport 5,700 migrants to Rwanda this year, following the government’s release of new details concerning the contentious plan. This declaration comes in the wake of recent parliamentary approvals, solidifying the implementation of a scheme aimed at deterring migrant arrivals via small boats from northern Europe.

Late Monday, the UK’s interior ministry disclosed that Rwanda has “in principle” agreed to accept the aforementioned number of migrants currently residing in the UK. Of this cohort, 2,143 individuals have been identified for detention prior to deportation, as stated by Health Secretary Victoria Atkins during an interview on Tuesday.

The remainder of the migrants will be located by law enforcement agencies, Atkins added, emphasizing the government’s commitment to ensure their deportation by year-end. Those failing to comply with reporting requirements will face appropriate measures, she cautioned.

According to the interior ministry, migrants who arrived in the UK between January 2022 and June 2023 may have their asylum claims rendered inadmissible, subjecting them to deportation to Rwanda. Official statistics indicate that over 57,000 individuals arrived via small boats during this 18-month period, underscoring the complexity of curbing irregular arrivals and the limitations of the government’s proposed solution.

Under the deportation scheme, which is anticipated to incur significant costs for UK taxpayers, asylum claims will be evaluated by authorities in Kigali. Approved individuals will be permitted to stay in Rwanda without the possibility of returning to the UK.

Despite claims of Rwanda’s stability and modern infrastructure, rights groups have raised concerns about governance under President Paul Kagame, alleging restrictions on dissent and free speech. UK lawmakers recently passed the Safety of Rwanda Bill, obliging British judges to recognize the nation as a safe third country, and granting decision-makers the authority to bypass certain human rights laws.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government has faced criticism from opposition parties, UN agencies, and rights groups over its flagship deportation policy. Sunak aims to commence deportation flights within 10-12 weeks, as part of broader efforts to reduce immigration levels. Home Secretary James Cleverly noted a substantial decrease in student visa applications, highlighting ongoing initiatives to cut annual net migration by 300,000.

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