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First phase of detentions underway for Rwanda relocations

The first illegal migrants set to be removed to Rwanda have now been detained, following a series of nationwide operations this week.

Operational teams within the Home Office have been working at pace to safely and swiftly detain individuals in scope for relocation to Rwanda, with more activity due to be carried out in the coming weeks. 

The action is a key part of the plan to deliver flights to Rwanda in the next 9 to 11 weeks. 

This activity forms yet another major milestone in the government’s wider plan to stop small boat crossings, which we reduced by more than a third in 2023.  

The Rwanda policy will deter migrants from making perilous journeys across the channel by showing clearly that, if you come here illegally, you cannot stay.  

Home Secretary James Cleverly said:      

Our Rwanda Partnership is a pioneering response to the global challenge of illegal migration, and we have worked tirelessly to introduce new, robust legislation to deliver it.  

Our dedicated enforcement teams are working at pace to swiftly detain those who have no right to be here so we can get flights off the ground.   

This is a complex piece of work, but we remain absolutely committed to operationalising the policy, to stop the boats and break the business model of people smuggling gangs.

Home Office Director of Enforcement Eddy Montgomery said:  

Our specialist operational teams are highly trained and fully equipped to carry out the necessary enforcement activity at pace and in the safest way possible.   

It is vital that operational detail is kept to a minimum, to protect colleagues involved and those being detained, as well as ensuring we can deliver this large-scale operation as quickly as possible.

The Home Office has increased detention capacity to more than 2,200 detention spaces, trained 200 new caseworkers to quickly process claims and has 500 highly trained escorts ready. 

Commercial charters have also been booked and an airport has been put on standby. 

Rwanda has proven time and again its ability to offer asylum seekers a chance to build new and prosperous lives with accommodation, education, training and employment. The country has a strong and successful track record in resettling people, hosting more than 135,000 refugees, and stands ready to accept thousands more who cannot stay in the UK.   

The government’s Safety of Rwanda Act and internationally binding treaty reaffirm and ensure the safety of Rwanda and this policy. The treaty responds directly to the Supreme Court’s findings in December, by strengthening Rwanda’s asylum system to ensure no one will be returned to an unsafe country after relocation. Building on the treaty, the Act confirms that Rwanda is a safe country for the purposes of relocation.

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/first-phase-of-detentions-underway-for-rwanda-relocations

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