Britain sends first batch of asylum seekers to Rwanda under new relocation scheme

Britain sends first batch of asylum seekers to Rwanda under new scheme
Migrants wait for a bus to return from the beach to their camp after migrants died crossing the English Channel, in France, April 23, 2024 | Reuters

The Sun Newspaper has reported that Britain has initiated its voluntary asylum seeker relocation scheme, sending its first unnamed migrant to on Monday. This move aims to address the influx of asylum seekers, particularly those crossing the English Channel in small boats.

Under the voluntary scheme, asylum seekers can receive up to £3,000 ($3,747.60) each to relocate to Rwanda, assisting in alleviating the backlog of refugees who have arrived in the country in recent years. This initiative, distinct from forced deportation programs, offers financial incentives for asylum seekers to settle in Rwanda rather than return to their home countries or remain in Britain.

A government spokesperson highlighted the migration and economic development partnership with Rwanda, emphasizing the opportunity for individuals without immigration status in the UK to rebuild their lives in a safe third country.

Britain has faced legal and political challenges in implementing this policy over the past two years but recently passed legislation to proceed with deportations to Rwanda, aiming for flights to commence within 10 to 12 weeks. However, protests have arisen, with organizations advocating for asylum seekers demonstrating outside immigration processing centres.

The first group slated for deportation from Britain to Rwanda consists of 5,700 individuals, although logistical constraints may limit the immediate detention of only about 2,000. Eligibility for forced deportation extends to those who arrived illegally after January 1, 2022, with over 50,000 arrivals recorded since that date, according to official figures.

  • Reporting by Farouq Suleiman; Additional reporting by Michael Holden; Writing by Kate Holton; Editing by William James, David Gregorio and Daniel Wallis

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