Several asylum seekers, aid groups and a union of border officials have filed lawsuits to stop the Conservative government from acting on a deportation deal with Rwanda.
UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman is due to visit Rwanda this weekend to discuss a deal in which the UK will relocate refugees and undocumented migrants while stepping up a plan that has been mired in controversy and legal challenges.
Last year, the UK agreed to send tens of thousands of people more than 4,000 miles (6,400 km) away to Rwanda as part of a £120 million ($146 million) deal, though no flights have taken off yet. that opponents question politics in the country. courts
The deal with Rwanda is an important part of Britain’s plans to detain and deport asylum seekers arriving on small boats across the English Channel.
Braverman will meet Rwandan President Paul Kagame during the trip and said the move to send migrants and refugees to Rwanda could be launched shortly.
“I will visit Rwanda this weekend to reinforce the government’s commitment to the partnership as part of our plan to stop the ships and to discuss plans to operationalize our agreement shortly,” he said in a statement.
society was announced in April last yearbut first deportation flight was blocked by a court order of the European Court of Human Rights.
In December, the London High Court declared it lawful. The judges also said that the government did not consider the individual circumstances of the people he tried to deport, signaling more legal battles to come.
Opponents are seeking to appeal that verdict in April and it could still go to Britain’s Supreme Court later in the year.
Several asylum seekers, aid groups and a union of border officials have filed lawsuits to stop the Conservative Party government from acting on a deportation deal with Rwanda.
Asylum seekers would then have to submit their asylum claims in Rwanda. Those who were not granted asylum in Rwanda, under the plan, could apply to stay for other reasons or try to resettle in another country.
Opposition parties and charities have described the government’s immigration plans as unethical and unfeasible, saying the plan, known as the Illegal Migration Bill – criminalizes the efforts of thousands of genuine refugees.
Rights groups have also said that Rwanda is not a safe destination since the 1994 genocide there. Human Rights Watch issued a public letter warning that “serious human rights abuses continue to be committed in Rwanda, including crackdowns on free expression, arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, and torture.”
Braverman vigorously defended his approach, describing his opponents as “naive do-gooders.” The government insists the policy is needed to stop the often deadly channel crossings from France, saying the deal will undermine the business model of people-smuggling networks.
After a record 45,000 people arrived in Britain on small boats last year, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said finding a solution is one of his top priorities.