The UK to provide asylum applicants to head over to Rwanda

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – According to new government plans, some people seeking asylum who cross the Channel to the UK will be offered a one-way ticket to Rwanda.

Mostly single men who will arrive by boat or lorry will be involved in the trial.

The £120 million initiative, according to PM Boris Johnson, will “save countless lives” from human trafficking.

Refugee groups have branded the plan inhumane, questioned its impact and costs, and expressed alarm about the human rights record of Rwanda.

Mr Johnson claimed in a speech in Kent that action was needed to prevent “vile people smugglers” from turning the ocean into a “watery graveyard” and that the “humane and compassionate” planning was in place to disrupt their economic model.

He wanted to make it obvious to individuals coming on the Kent shore that legal ways were preferable, and that the new approach would prove to be a very significant deterrent over time.

There were 28,526 persons who crossed in tiny boats last year, up from 8,404 in 2020.

On Wednesday, some 600 people crossed the border, with Mr Johnson estimating that the number may rise to 1,000 per day in the coming weeks.

Mr Johnson stated that the system would be uncapped, would apply to people who entered the country unlawfully after January 1, and may touch tens of thousands in the coming years.

The BBC has seen the facilities where asylum seekers would be held, which is expected to hold approximately 100 individuals at a time and process about 500 a year.

A parallel illegal system cannot be sustained, the PM warned. Their  compassion was limitless, but their ability to help others was not.

According to Ipsos Mori study, 60% of the public is unsatisfied with the migration policy of the government with more than half citing Channel crossings as a reason.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, travelled to Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, to sign the agreement, which she described as a “global first” that would revolutionise the way illegal immigration is tackled.

According to the idea, Rwanda would accept responsibility for persons who travel more than 4,000 miles, put them through an asylum process, and if they are successful, they would be given long-term housing in Rwanda.

Migrants will be entitled to complete protection under law of Rwanda, equal employment access, and enrollment in healthcare and social care facilities, according to the Rwandan government.

The UK Home Office believes that existing asylum law will be sufficient to carry out the plan, but issues regarding the scheme’s legality persist.

Mr Johnson claimed the proposal was totally consistent with international law, but admitted that he expects it to face legal challenges and a “formidable army of politically motivated lawyers.”

Miranda Butler, an immigration lawyer, said there were also real doubts regarding the risks migrants would face as a result of the accelerated procedure.

President Paul Kagame and the government of Rwanda , have also been questioned over their human rights record.

Mr Johnson, on the other hand, rated Rwanda to be among the safest countries of the world.


PM Johnson also made the following announcements:

  • Asylum seekers who are relocated in the United Kingdom will be dispersed more equitably across local governments.
  • Plans to give operational control of the English Channel to the Royal Navy 
  • Channel operations will receive £50 million in support for new equipment and specialised personnel.
  • In Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire, the government has opened a new reception centre to house migrants.
  • People traffickers face a maximum sentence of life in jail.

Kourtney Spak

Kourtney Spak is an american journalist and political commentator. Her journalism career focuses on American domestic policy and also foreign affairs. She also writes on environment, climate change and economy.