UK to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Lorraine Mallinder

The British government’s plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda have finally been approved by parliament, ending a months-long deadlock between the lower and upper chambers over the legality of the policy.

Under the new law, any asylum seekers who arrive illegally in Britain will be sent to Rwanda.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged that the first flight will leave as early as July, promising a wave of deportations “come what may” over the summer.

Tens of thousands of people have crossed the English Channel in small boats in recent years, many fleeing war and poverty. The government claims it aims to deter dangerous crossings in small boats and to smash people-smuggling networks.

But rights groups have criticised the scheme, calling it inhumane and illegal, and say there is no evidence this policy will stop human trafficking or dangerous boat crossings. While Rwanda is often cited as one of the most stable countries in Africa, many accuse President Paul Kagame of ruling in a climate of fear and oppression. —  Al Jazeera

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