The UK aims to send the migrants to Rwanda within months if the court agrees

The UK aims to send the migrants to Rwanda within months if the court agrees

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Britain’s government said Sunday it may begin deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda in the next few months — but only if a U.K. court rules. controversial policy valid

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

In Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, he met with President Paul Kagame and Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta, visited housing intended to house evacuees from the UK and laid a brick for another housing development for migrants.

“I’ve enjoyed seeing firsthand the rich opportunities this country can provide for people on the move through our partnership,” Braverman said.

Biruta said Rwanda will offer migrants “a chance to build a new life in a safe, secure place through housing, education and vocational training.”

UK and Rwanda strike a deal About a year ago under which some migrants who arrived in the UK in small boats would be sent to Rwanda, where their asylum claims would be processed. Those granted asylum will remain in Rwanda rather than return to Britain.

The UK government argues that the policy will disrupt the business model of people-smuggling rings and prevent migrants from making the risky journey across the English Channel.

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

But the 140 million-pound ($170 million) plan is mired in legal challenges, and no one has yet been sent to Rwanda. In December, the High Court ruled that the policy was valid, but allowed a group of asylum seekers from countries including Iran, Iraq and Syria to appeal.

Human rights groups cite Rwanda’s poor human rights record and argue that sending people more than 4,000 miles (6,400 km) to a country they don’t want to live in is inhumane.

The government has also drafted legislation to prevent anyone arriving in the UK by small boat or other unauthorized means from applying for asylum. If passed by Parliament, Illegal immigration bill would force the government to detain all such arrivals and deport them to their homeland or to a “safe third country” such as Rwanda.

The UN refugee agency said the law breached the UK’s commitments under the International Refugee Convention.

Braverman has faced criticism for inviting only select media to his taxpayer-funded trip to Rwanda. Journalists from right-leaning outlets including The Times and The Telegraph newspapers and television channel GB News were invited, while the BBC and left-leaning Guardian newspapers were not. ___

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