The U.K. Finalizes its Rwanda Deportation Plans

Critics are outraged after Parliament approved a measure to send asylum seekers to East Africa.

What’s happening: The United Kingdom’s parliament recently passed a bill to send asylum seekers who arrived illegally to Rwanda after a decade-long immigration crisis.

The details: Asylum seekers who arrived illegally from 2022 onwards are eligible to be sent to Rwanda for asylum claim processing. If the claims are successful, the migrants are granted refugee status and will stay in Rwanda. If unsuccessful, they will have to apply to stay in Rwanda on other grounds.

Why they did it: The number of migrants has more than doubled since Britain voted to leave the European Union, costing taxpayers $1.88 billion each year. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak believes that the Rwanda plan is the only way to reverse the arrivals.

The numbers: Previous figures estimated that it costs £63,000 more to send a migrant to a third-party country than to keep them in the U.K. However, Sunak claims the move will actually save money in the future due to the long-term cost of migration.

Backlash: Critics of the measure, including human rights organizations, are vehemently opposed to the bill, claiming that it is “inhumane.” Court challenges are likely, though Sunak said he will ignore orders from European courts that block the bill.

  • Rwanda’s view: Rwandan President Paul Kagame welcomed the measure, saying his government is capable of receiving and processing the migrants.

Why it matters: If the measure is successful in curbing Britain's long-lasting migration crisis, it could spur other European countries to adopt similar plans.

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