Home » UK aims to send migrants to Rwanda in months if courts agree

UK aims to send migrants to Rwanda in months if courts agree

by The Grio

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Britain’s government said Sunday that it could start deporting asylum-seekers to Rwanda in the next few months — but only if U.K. courts rule that the controversial policy is legal.

The Home Office said it was aiming to start flights “before the summer,” as Home Secretary Suella Braverman visited the east African country to reinforce the Conservative government’s commitment to the plan.

In the Rwandan capital, Kigali, she met with President Paul Kagame and Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta, visited accommodation intended to house deportees from the U.K. and laid a brick at another housing development for migrants. The project is expected to build more than 1,000 houses.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing firsthand the rich opportunities this country can provide to relocated people through our partnership,” Braverman said.

Biruta said Rwanda would offer migrants “the opportunity to build new lives in a safe, secure place through accommodation, education and vocational training.”

Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo told reporters the country is ready to receive thousands of migrants from the U.K., saying she doesn’t consider living in Rwanda “a punishment.” She said Rwanda is determined to make the agreement a success.

The U.K. and Rwanda struck a deal almost a year ago under which some migrants who arrive in the U.K. in small boats would be flown to Rwanda, where their asylum claims would be processed. Those granted asylum would stay in Rwanda rather than return to Britain.

The U.K. government argues the policy will smash the business model of people-smuggling gangs and deter migrants from taking risky journeys across the English Channel.

More than 45,000 people arrived in Britain by boat in 2022, compared with 8,500 in 2020.

But the 140 million-pound ($170 million) plan is mired in legal challenges, and no one has yet been…

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