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UK to move asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing

UK to move asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing
April 14
10:13 2022

Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, says the country will begin moving asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing. 

The prime minister’s office said this on Wednesday, adding that Johnson will announce plans of the migration partnership with Rwanda on Thursday.

In the speech Johnson is expected to deliver, he argues that action is needed to stop illegal migration and to prevent “vile people smugglers” turning the ocean into a “watery graveyard”.

“We cannot sustain a parallel illegal system. Our compassion may be infinite, but our capacity to help people is not,” he said.

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“The British people voted several times to control our borders, not to close them, but to control them.

“So just as Brexit allowed us to take back control of legal immigration by replacing free movement with our points-based system, we are also taking back control of illegal immigration, with a long-term plan for asylum in this country.

“It is a plan that will ensure the UK has a world-leading asylum offer, providing generous protection to those directly fleeing the worst of humanity, by settling thousands of people every year through safe and legal routes.”

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According to the BBC, in 2021, 28,526 people were reported to have crossed the English Channel in small boats — up from 8,404 in 2020.

“Before Christmas 27 people drowned, and in the weeks ahead there may be many more losing their lives at sea, and whose bodies may never be recovered,” Johnson added.

“Around 600 came across the Channel yesterday. In just a few weeks this could again reach a thousand a day.

“I accept that these people – whether 600 or one thousand – are in search of a better life; the opportunities that the United Kingdom provides and the hope of a fresh start.

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“But it is these hopes – these dreams – that have been exploited. These vile people smugglers are abusing the vulnerable and turning the Channel into a watery graveyard, with men, women and children, drowning in unseaworthy boats and suffocating in refrigerated lorries.”

The deal which will facilitate the transfer of asylum seekers out of the UK to Rwanda is expected to offer Rwanda an initial £120 million as part of a trial process.

However, refugee organisations have criticised the plan as cruel and have asked that the UK government reconsiders.

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