A British court declared Thursday that the controversial plan to deport migrants who arrived illegally in the United Kingdom to Rwanda was “unlawful”. This is an extreme disdain for a conservative government measure to deter illegal immigration.
This decision can still be appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal held that Rwanda as it is now could not be considered a “safe third country” because “the deficiencies in the asylum system (there) are such that there ‘may be’ a real risk that those who are sent to Rwanda will be sent back to their country of origin.” “.
Fighting illegal immigration is one of the priorities of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government.
Despite Brexit’s promises to ‘take back control’, more than 45,000 migrants crossed the English Channel from France in small boats in 2022, a record number. And already more than 11,000 this year have done the same.
Last December, the High Court in London gave the green light to a project to deport some of them to Rwanda, a project that has since stalled due to legal challenges, and the ruling on the legal apparatus. But judges agreed to examine the appeals of several applicants and Charity Aid, which provides legal support to asylum seekers.
Among the issues before the appeals court are whether the plan is “systematically unfair” and whether asylum seekers should be prevented from being removed to a country where they risk persecution.
During the April hearing, plaintiffs’ attorneys criticized the early justices’ “excessive respect” for assurances made about protecting immigrants from torture or inhumane treatment.
Home Office lawyers responded by noting Rwanda’s willingness to “cooperate with international monitoring mechanisms” and London’s confidence in the guarantees offered by Kigali.
Despite the court’s decision, the Rwandan government announced on Thursday to remain in the agreement with London. “While this decision is ultimately up to the British courts, we take issue with the fact that Rwanda is not considered a safe country for refugees and asylum-seekers,” a government spokesman told AFP. Rwandan government Yolande Makulu.
200,000 euros per person
In 2021, 27 people lost their lives trying to cross the English Channel, one of the busiest straits in the world. At least four more died last year.
The plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was announced when Boris Johnson was prime minister. The government had an agreement with Kigali to expel migrants in hopes of discouraging such crossings.
However, the deportation has not yet taken place. The first flight, scheduled for June 2022, has been canceled following a decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) calling for a comprehensive review of the policy.
The government recently acknowledged that these evictions would cost nearly €200,000 per person.
But the ministry estimates that over four years, it could save £106,000 (€123,290) per asylum seeker, particularly in terms of accommodation costs. For the project to be profitable, two out of five immigrants must be deterred from crossing the canal, according to this data.
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