In this Tuesday Jan. 16, 2018, photo, Sub-Saharan refugees and migrants from different - Copyright © africanews Santi Palacios/AP

UK begins detaining migrants set to be deported to Rwanda

By Rédaction Africanews |

UNITED KINGDOM – British authorities have started detaining migrants as part of preparations to relocate them to Rwanda within the next nine to 11 weeks. The government announced on Wednesday, marking a significant step in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s immigration strategy.

In April, Parliament endorsed legislation to facilitate the transfer of asylum seekers to Rwanda if they entered Britain without authorization. Sunak aims for the inaugural flights to depart in July.

With over 7,500 migrants having arrived in England via small boats from France this year, the government asserts that this policy will dissuade individuals from undertaking perilous journeys across the Channel. Tragically, five people lost their lives attempting the crossing last week.

Opposition to the policy from human rights organizations and unions is anticipated, with expectations of renewed legal challenges to prevent the flights from proceeding, especially following the UK Supreme Court’s ruling last year declaring the policy unlawful.

Photographs shared by the UK’s interior ministry on Wednesday depict individuals being detained by immigration enforcement officials, underscoring the swift implementation of these measures.

“Our dedicated enforcement teams are working diligently to promptly apprehend those without lawful status so that we can expedite the departure of flights,” remarked Interior Minister James Cleverly in a Wednesday statement.

Reports from Care4Calais, a refugee charity, confirm that detentions commenced on Monday, with numerous individuals reaching out to their helpline expressing concerns. Details regarding who will be selected for the initial deportation flight and its timing remain undisclosed.

According to The Sun Newspaper, Britain has already initiated its first asylum seeker relocation to Rwanda under a voluntary program, distinct from the deportation policy.

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