All the asylum seekers ministers want to send to Rwanda have been put into detention centres after arriving in the UK on small boats, according to the Home Office.
When the government announced its plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda last month, officials said some of those issued with notices of intent to be offshored would be served with the notices while living in the community and would have 14 days to appeal the decision. More than 100 asylum seekers have been issued with notices of intent so far.
The Home Office has confirmed to the Guardian that everyone they want to send to Rwanda has been locked up in detention centres, with the community option not currently being used.
Many people who arrive on small boats are in poor physical and mental condition, and some charities have reported that those who are detained for offshoring are traumatised, bewildered and don't understand what is happening to them.
The news comes after the Mail on Sunday reported that 10 asylum seekers have withdrawn their asylum claims after the Rwanda plan was announced, a development hailed by some government sources as a sign that the plan drawn up by the Home Secretary, Priti Patel is having the desired deterrent effect.
There is little indication that the policy is having a deterrent effect in northern France, with around 9,000 asylum seekers crossing the Channel this year, including hundreds since the policy was announced in mid-April. More than 100 people have made the Channel crossing since Thursday.
A group of people from Sudan who crossed the Channel in a kayak on 9 May have been detained for offshoring but the home secretary has said she wants to smash some Albanian asylum seekers and at least one man from Afghanistan who arrived in a small boat about a week ago.
The chief executive of the Refugee Council, Enver Solomon, said the government is choosing to detain any person fleeing war or oppression, including those fleeing Ukraine and Afghanistan, as a commodity to be shipped to Rwanda. This is appallingly cruel and will cause great human suffering. We urge the government to rethink its plans and focus on the workable alternatives clearly at their disposal. People can apply for humanitarian visas by using safe routes, including allowing them to apply for humanitarian visas. Bella Sankey, the director of detention action, said that Priti Patel's Rwanda expulsion policy is being used as a justification to detain increasing numbers of traumatised people in prison-like facilities. We have heard of people confused about why they are being detained and unable to access legal advice. A Home Office spokesman said: "Our new world-leading migration partnership with Rwanda will see those who make dangerous, illegal or unnecessary journeys to the UK relocated to Rwanda and will be supported to build a new life there." The government has the power to detain people for examination or pending removal from the UK, if they have been issued notices of intent and are being detained under these existing powers.