September 22, 2023

UK to battle court docket ruling that moves down Rwanda deportation deal

British Home Secretary Suella Braverman says the United Kingdom remains committed to its migration policies and will appeal Thursday’s Court of Appeal decision that the U.K. policy on deporting migrants to Rwanda is unlawful.

“The Prime Minister and I have made a promise to the British people to stop the boats,” said Braverman, who called the immigration situation in the U.K. unsustainable. For his part, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he respected the court but disagreed with the decision against the Rwanda Migration And Economic Development Partnership.

“The Rwandan government have provided the assurances necessary to ensure there is no real risk” to asylum seekers sent to the third-part nation, Sunak said in a statement. “Rwanda is a safe country.”

Authorities in Rwanda also pushed back against the decision.

The UK policy, implemented last year under former secretary Priti Patel, met with legal challenges from Asylum Aid UK and others. The first deportation flights were canceled amid opposition from human rights organizations and last-minute court decisions.

The UK continued to defend its deal to send migrants to Rwanda to have their asylum claims processed. The deal with Rwanda also included £120 million in economic development funds for Rwanda and another £50 million in equipment and logistics, including new boats, aerial surveillance and military experts, in exchange for the relocation of migrants from Britain.

Meanwhile, a new UK law will make asylum claims inadmissible from anyone who arrives on a small boat or via other irregular routes, according to Asylum Aid. It gives the Home Secretary the power to remove people seeking asylum to a “safe third country” like Rwanda, they said.

“It also adds Rwanda to the statutory list of safe countries, enshrining the Home Office’s assessment that Rwanda is a safe country into law,” they added, despite concerns that Rwanda is not a safe destination for many seeking refuge.

Image: Rishi Sunak file

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