UK expresses willingness to deport migrants to Rwanda

By Zaninka Umutesi
On 3 February 2023 at 02:48

The United Kingdom (UK)’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak has expressed optimism that the Immigration and Economic Development Partnership signed between Rwanda and the European country will be implemented.

The deal signed in April 2022 paves the way for deportation to Rwanda of migrants and asylum seekers staying in the UK illegally.

Under this program, migrants are set to benefit from secondary qualifications, vocational and skills training, language lessons and higher education.

After signing the agreement, it was reported that those willing to return to their mother lands will be helped to do so.

The UK made the decision to discourage people crossing to the country illegally and reduce the budget spent on them every year.

During an interview with TalkTV, Prime Minister Sunak said that there is hope to start sending immigrants who entered the UK illegally to Rwanda.

He said that they want to break the chain of illegal immigration, which has allowed people to enter the UK through the waterway from France, known as the English Channel, in large numbers.

Figures from the British government show that last year, immigrants who entered the country using small boats through illegal waterways reached 45,756, up from 2,526 in 2021. The figures represent an increase of more than 17,000.

In addition, the government is paying £5.5 million to care for illegal immigrants staying in hotels while their applications are being processed.

The policy to deport migrants to Rwanda has been fiercely criticised by human rights organisations and opposition parties, but Mr Sunak promised to keep the drive in place.

“The system that we need, the system that I want to introduce, is one whereby if you come here illegally, you should be swiftly detained and then in a matter of days or weeks we will hear your claim, not months and years, and then we will safely remove you somewhere else. And if we do that, that’s how we’ll break the cycle,” Sunak told TalkTV.

The Prime Minister said he was able to reach an agreement with France to increase patrols on the waterways in his first 100 days as PM noting that it has begun to yield results.

“A, I’ve got a new deal with France, which is increasing the amount of patrols that are happening on French beaches, which is making a difference already.

“Secondly, I’ve got a brand new deal with Albania. Albania accounted for 30 per cent of all illegal migrants.

If you come illegally, you will not be able to stay here - we will have the ability in the vast majority of cases to send you to an alternative safe country," he said.

Their first flight to Rwanda was expected on 14th June 2022 but was cancelled at last minute after an intervention from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Recently, the High Court in the United Kingdom ruled in favor of the country’s policy to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda. It however resolved that the cases of eight people who were initially scheduled for deportation to Rwanda had not been properly considered, and ordered a new review of them by the home secretary.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hinted at different issues during an interview with Piers Morgan of TalkTV.