The British government has designated the first 50 irregular migrants awaiting their asylum procedure in Rwanda. Prime Minister Johnson said it was planned to fly over them in two weeks, although he expects that to be delayed by legal proceedings.
The Johnson Administration announced last month that some people crossing the Channel illegally will have to wait for their asylum claims to be processed in the African country, which is part of the Commonwealth. The UK is allocating nearly €150 million to facilitate this.
Prime Minister Johnson said these policies are “disrupting the business model of gangs” who smuggle people across the English Channel and “turn the sea into a watery graveyard”. The program would primarily target single men arriving in Britain via The Channel.
Opponents speak of the plan’s disgrace. They point out that it is cumbersome and that Rwanda has a bad reputation when it comes to human rights. Critics of the plan included 160 aid organisations, the Archbishop of Canterbury and former Prime Minister May.
Details of who will be on the first flight to Kigali have yet to be released. Johnson told the Daily Mail he assumed “leftist lawyers” would try to stop the trial in court.
“We are prepared for this. We are digging in and will make it work,” the prime minister said.
Earlier this week, the minister responsible for immigration was unable to say whether he already realizes that immigrants are being deterred. “This policy is still new and untested. But eventually, through other steps we take, we will see the dynamic change.”
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