UK commences detention of migrants slated for deportation to Rwanda


British authorities have initiated the detention of migrants in readiness for their deportation to Rwanda within the next nine to 11 weeks, as confirmed by the government on Wednesday.

This move lays the groundwork for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's flagship immigration policy, which gained parliamentary approval in April, with plans for the first deportation flights scheduled for July.

The policy targets asylum seekers who arrived in Britain without authorization, aiming to deter further irregular migration by this route. This comes amid a surge in arrivals, with over 7,500 migrants having reached England on small boats from France so far this year. Tragically, five individuals lost their lives attempting this perilous journey just last week.

While the government asserts that the policy is necessary to curb dangerous Channel crossings, it faces opposition from human rights charities and unions, which are expected to mount legal challenges against the deportation flights. Notably, the UK Supreme Court declared a similar policy unlawful last year.

Images released by the interior ministry depict migrants being detained by immigration enforcement officials, underscoring the swift enforcement efforts underway. Interior Minister James Cleverly emphasized the urgency of the operation, stating that enforcement teams are working diligently to detain individuals without a legal right to remain in the country.

According to refugee charity Care4Calais, the detention process commenced on Monday, sparking concerns among migrant communities. The charity's helpline has received numerous calls from individuals expressing fear and uncertainty about the deportation process.

Meanwhile, reports suggest that Britain has already initiated deportations to Rwanda under a voluntary scheme, separate from the mandated deportation policy. Concerns have been raised about the psychological impact of these measures, with fears that individuals may resort to evading authorities and severing ties with support networks out of fear of detention and deportation. Photo by SteveRwanda, Wikimedia commons.

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