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Home Breaking More Asylum Seekers Could Be Sent to Rwanda as Government Extends Flagship Scheme

More Asylum Seekers Could Be Sent to Rwanda as Government Extends Flagship Scheme

The United Kingdom’s government has announced an extension of its flagship asylum relocation scheme to include failed asylum seekers. Home Secretary James Cleverley revealed the decision, which aims to address the challenges faced by those who have had their asylum claims rejected.

More Asylum Seekers Could Be Sent To Rwanda As Government Extends Flagship Scheme

Background

More Asylum Seekers Could Be Sent To Rwanda As Government Extends Flagship Scheme

The scheme initially applied only to individuals who were deemed to have arrived in the UK illegally after January 2022 and had been informed that their asylum claim could potentially be rejected. However, the recent expansion broadens the eligibility criteria to include failed asylum seekers.

More Asylum Seekers Could Be Sent To Rwanda As Government Extends Flagship Scheme

New Eligibility Criteria

More Asylum Seekers Could Be Sent To Rwanda As Government Extends Flagship Scheme

James Cleverley stated, “We’re widening the group eligible for relocation to include failed asylum seekers.” These individuals fall into one of the following categories:

More Asylum Seekers Could Be Sent To Rwanda As Government Extends Flagship Scheme

  1. No Legal Right: Failed asylum seekers who have no legal right to remain in the UK.
  2. Unsuccessful Asylum Application: Those whose asylum applications were unsuccessful.
  3. Previous Illegal Entry: Individuals who have previously entered the UK illegally.
More Asylum Seekers Could Be Sent To Rwanda As Government Extends Flagship Scheme

Safety Concerns

More Asylum Seekers Could Be Sent To Rwanda As Government Extends Flagship Scheme

Many failed asylum seekers cannot be safely returned to their home countries due to ongoing conflicts or other risks. Countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria pose significant dangers for these individuals. To address this, the UK government has identified Rwanda as a safe third country to which they can be sent.

More Asylum Seekers Could Be Sent To Rwanda As Government Extends Flagship Scheme

Support and Residency

The Home Office clarified that failed asylum seekers removed to Rwanda will not enter Rwanda as asylum seekers. Instead, they will receive a comprehensive package of support and will be entitled to residency in Rwanda. This support aims to help them rebuild their lives in their new host country.

Legal Challenges and Progress

The government’s Rwanda Bill faced multiple hurdles in Parliament, particularly from the House of Lords. However, it finally passed in April. Legal challenges had previously plagued the plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda for claims processing. The Supreme Court ruled the scheme unlawful in November 2023.

Deportation Flights

Court documents released last Friday indicated that the first deportation flight to Rwanda could take off as early as June 24. The Prime Minister had previously committed to launching flights in the spring.

Opposition’s Critique

Labour’s Shadow Immigration Minister, Stephen Kinnock, criticised the Rwanda scheme, calling it “in chaos.” He highlighted those removals of failed asylum-seekers had decreased by 44% compared to the last Labour government. Kinnock accused the Conservatives of failing to manage borders effectively and questioned the £2 million cost per person for sending failed asylum-seekers to Rwanda.

Legal Solutions

In response to legal challenges, the government devised a two-pronged solution. First, they established a new treaty with Rwanda. Second, the “emergency” Rwanda Bill declared Rwanda a safe country. The Bill grants ministers the power to disregard sections of the Human Rights Act. However, these moves sparked discontent within the Conservative Party, with right-wing Tories considering it too lenient and others expressing concerns about potential breaches of international law.

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