Spread the love

United Kingdom: first arrests of migrants before their expulsion to Rwanda

The first migrants likely to be deported by the United Kingdom to Rwanda have been arrested and placed in detention, a new step in a highly criticized policy taken at a later date. two days of elections high risk for the conservatives in power.

“The first irregular migrants to be deported to Rwanda have been detained following a series of nationwide operations this week,” writes the Ministry of Defense. 'Interior in a press release, without specifying the number of people concerned, nor their countries of origin.

More arrests “should be carried out in the coming weeks”, he adds.

The ministry released photos and a video showing the law enforcement during the arrests of migrants.

Their broadcast as the announcement of the migrant arrests comes two days before local elections in England and Wales, in which the Conservatives risk suffering heavy losses .

“This action is a key part of the plan to ensure flights to Rwanda in the next nine to eleven weeks,” the ministry continued.

United Kingdom: first arrests of migrants before their expulsion to Rwanda

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a press conference in London, April 22, 2024 © POOL – Toby Melville

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is “pleased that the Home Office has led these operations”, his spokesperson said, welcoming “an important element in the deployment of the plan to get flights off the ground in nine to eleven weeks and ensure effective deterrence” to prevent Channel crossings on small boats.

The head of the conservative government promised to put an end to these crossings by illegal migrants. More than 7,500 have arrived since the start of the year, a historic record for the first four months of the year.

– First voluntary departure –

Parliament adopted last week a very controversial law allowing some of these migrants to be expelled to Rwanda.

Their their asylum application will be examined in this East African country and they will not be able to return to the United Kingdom, whatever the outcome.

United Kingdom: first arrests of migrants before their expulsion to Rwanda

Channel: crossings to the United Kingdom on makeshift canoes © AFP – Paz PIZARRO, Gal ROMA

The government plans to begin deportations in early summer.

This policy “will make it clear that if you come here illegally, you cannot not stay”, reiterated the Ministry of the Interior in its press release.

“Our teams (…) are working at a sustained pace to quickly arrest people who have no right to be here, so we can get the flights off the ground,” Interior Minister James Cleverly was quoted as saying in the statement.

Commercial flights have been booked, the ministry said.

The government said on Tuesday it hoped to deport to Rwanda “by the end of the year” an already identified group of 5,700 people.

While the government has not hidden that it anticipates legal challenges against this text, a union of senior civil servants , the FDA, announced Wednesday that it had filed an appeal.

The union argues that the new law exposes civil servants to violating international law and therefore the code of administration if, as provided for in the text, the British government decides to ignore a decision of the European Court of Human Rights.

“Civil servants should never find themselves in a position where they find themselves in conflict between the instructions of ministers and respect for the administration code,” denounced the union's general secretary, Dave Penman.

United Kingdom: first arrests of migrants before their expulsion to Rwanda

Migrants on Gravelines beach head towards a smugglers' boat to cross the Channel, April 26, 2024 near Dunkirk, northern France © AFP – Sameer Al-DOUMY

“This is exactly what the government chose to do”, he continued, denouncing an “irresponsible” approach and a “political choice made not for the good of the country but for avoid dissatisfying the warring factions” among the conservatives.

A first migrant was deported to Rwanda on Monday, according to British media, but as part of a another program, based on volunteering. This migrant, originally from the African continent, who was offered 3,000 pounds (around 3,500 euros) agreed to leave for this East African country on a commercial flight after his asylum request was rejected.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116