The decision comes in the wake of the UK Supreme Court’s recent declaration that sending migrants to Rwanda is illegal, citing it as an unsafe destination. Sunak, however, emphasized the government’s commitment to eliminating all legal loopholes to safeguard the new migrant treaty signed with Rwanda from potential legal challenges.
Sunak detailed significant changes in the newly proposed law, emphasizing that those entering the UK illegally would now have no chance of staying, except to be sent to Rwanda, where their applications would be processed. This policy aims to curb the influx of immigrants without valid reasons, which places a burden on the state.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the new law addresses concerns related to immigrants being sent to another country, asserting that human rights issues have been meticulously considered.
Sunak underscored that the new law effectively addresses previous reasons used to oppose sending immigrants to Rwanda where claims that the latter is not a safe country have been removed.
The UK experienced a significant surge in illegal immigration from July 2022 to June 2023, with 52,530 individuals entering, 85% arriving on small boats—an increase of 17% compared to the previous year.
Outlining proposals to reduce illegal immigration, Sunak acknowledged the challenges in apprehending individuals staying illegally. Once immigrants are brought to Rwanda, their eligibility to stay in the UK will be determined through established procedures. If rejected, individuals face a lifetime ban from returning, staying, or obtaining citizenship in the UK.
Sunak also addressed past challenges, including rejection by the European Court of Human Rights.
However, he asserted that the new law grants the UK government authority over court decisions. The new immigration law is set to be debated in Parliament next week.