UK to send migrants to Rwanda for resettlement

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UK to send migrants to Rwanda for resettlement

Hundreds of thousands of unauthorised migrants who seek sanctuary in the UK will be flown more than 4,000 miles to Rwanda under a new immigration policies, according to Boris Johnson.

The prime minister said at a press conference that the African state, criticised last year by the UK for its human rights record, was one of the safest countries in the world. He also announced that the Royal Navy would take over patrolling the Channel to intercept small boats from France.

The plan was to give detainees a one-way ticket to the country and encourage them to establish new lives there, according to Home Office insiders.

The home secretary, Priti Patel, visited the Rwandan capital, Kigali, on Thursday to sign an economic development partnership. The timing of the announcement has resulted in claims that Johnson is using the policy to deflect from becoming the first prime minister to be found guilty of a criminal charge while in office.

Johnson said at a press conference in Kent that the scheme was needed to save countless lives from human traffickers by breaking the business model of traffickers.

The deal we have done with Rwanda is uncapped, and Rwanda will have the capacity to resettle tens of thousands of people in the years ahead. He said that Rwanda is one of the safest countries in the world, recognized for its record of welcoming and integrating migrants.

Asked about Rwanda's poor human rights record human rights groups have logged the torture of detainees, he said Rwanda has totally transformed. It has changed from what it was over the last few decades. He said the Royal Navy would take over operational command from the Border Force in the Channel to make sure that no boat makes it to the UK undetected. Johnson also took aim at lawyers who might challenge the government's proposals on behalf of recent arrivals. If this country is seen as a soft touch for illegal migration by some of our partners, it is precisely because we have such a formidable army of politically motivated lawyers who have made it their business to thwart removals and frustrate the government, he said.

Johnson defended the Rwanda plan, which will include an initial payment of 120 m, saying the asylum system was already costing 1.5 billion a year and hotel costs would only increase.

The prime minister said that he wanted to make clear to people arriving on the Kent coast that they were better off taking legal routes, and that the new plan would over time prove to be a very significant deterrent Asked about cost comparisons with putting people up in the Ritz, the asylum system is already costing 1.5 billion a year. The hotel costs are now 5 m a day. They talk about Ritz they are now 5 m a day, and it is climbing. I am afraid that it will continue to climb unless we can beat the business model of the gangs. It is not known whether only men will be sent to Rwanda, whether there will be a right of appeal and whether cases will initially be processed in the UK, with only those deemed to be economic migrants removed from the country.

Removals will initially be taken to a hostel in Kigali for processing. Hope House, located in the Gasabo district of Kigali, is currently being used as a place of accommodation for tourists, according to Rwandan government officials.

The East African nation's government is believed to be in negotiations to lease the property, which is privately owned, so that asylum seekers from the UK can stay there temporarily while their claims are processed.

In the last year, 28,526 people have crossed the Channel in small boats, up from 8,404 in 2020. Dozens of people died on the crossing, including 27 people when a single boat capsized in November.