Boris Johnson: the first 50 migrants are informed that they will be sent to Rwanda

Fifty migrants said they would be sent to Rwanda in two weeks, says Boris

Asylum seekers deemed to have arrived ‘illegally’ face a one-way ticket to Rwanda (Pictures: Getty/PA)

Boris Johnson has revealed the first 50 migrants have been told they will be sent to Rwanda under the government’s controversial resettlement scheme.

The Prime Minister told the Daily Mail he expected ‘a lot of legal opposition’ from what he called ‘leftist lawyers’ but insisted the government ‘s ‘would engage in the struggle’.

Under the widely criticized policy, asylum seekers deemed to have arrived “illegally” in the UK must now be given a one-way ticket to East Africa, where their claims will be processed.

If successful, they will be granted asylum or refugee status in the country.

Those whose offers have failed will be offered the option of applying for visas under other immigration routes if they wish to remain in Rwanda but could still be deported.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Tory backbenchers including former Prime Minister Theresa May, opposition MPs and more than 160 charities are among critics of the plan.

Mr Johnson said the first 50 “illegal entrants to this country” have already been notified that they will be sent to Rwanda within a fortnight.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson waves as he boards his plane for the UK at Delhi airport at the end of his two-day trip to India.  Picture date: Friday April 22, 2022. PA Photo.  Johnson made progress on a post-Brexit trade deal with India but did not press Prime Minister Narendra Modi to condemn Vladimir Putin.  See PA story POLITICS India.  Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Boris Johnson has insisted the Government will ‘dig in’ for the legal fight (Picture: PA)

He added: “There’s going to be a lot of legal opposition from the kinds of companies that for a long time have been taking taxpayers’ money to set up this kind of business and to thwart the will of the people, the will of Parliament. We are ready for that.

“We’ll dig in for the fight and you know, we’ll make it work. We have a huge flowchart of things we need to do to deal with it, with left-handed lawyers.

Asked if he could answer with a review of the European Convention on Human Rights, Mr Johnson said: ‘We will look at everything.’ Nothing is on the table.

Guidelines issued by the Interior Ministry earlier this month said Rwanda was “a safe country to resettle people in”.

However, an assessment carried out before the UK-Rwanda deal revealed “some concerns about its human rights record regarding political opposition to the current regime, dissent and freedom of expression. “.

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The Home Office said it would conduct a risk assessment on a case-by-case basis when determining a person’s eligibility for resettlement and would consider all vulnerabilities, including disabilities, orientation and sex change status.

The department noted that transgender people “may be at increased risk of mistreatment such as arbitrary arrest and detention as well as degrading treatment,” adding that “no one will be relocated if it is unsafe or inappropriate.”

There were also “concerns about the treatment of some LGBTQI+ people” in Rwanda, but this “did not constitute persecution or serious harm”, the Interior Ministry said.

He also pointed to unverified reports that LGBTQ+ asylum seekers had encountered difficulties in registering their claims, but said Rwanda was committed to treating all refugees equally and that “provisions of continuous monitoring” were in place to manage the risk.

“We will continue to review the impact on this group and consider further evidence over the course of the partnership,” the Home Office said.

Unaccompanied under 18s arriving in the UK will not be considered for relocation to Rwanda.

A group of people believed to be migrants are brought to Dover, Kent, on board a Border Force vessel, following a small boating incident in the English Channel.  Picture date: Monday May 2, 2022. PA Photo.  See PA story POLITICS Migrants.  Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A group of people believed to be migrants are brought to Dover (Picture: PA)

Anyone considered will receive a notice of intent, with the Home Office prioritizing those arriving in the UK after May 9.

The UK pays the processing fee for each person sent to Rwanda, including social workers, access to legal advice, translators, accommodation, food, healthcare and up to five years training to facilitate integration.

Mr Johnson said tens of thousands of people could be airlifted to Rwanda under the deal.

But The Times reported that modeling by Home Office officials indicated only 300 a year could be sent there.

The department later said it did not recognize the figure and that there was no limit to the number of people who could be sent to Rwanda.

epa09935583 A boat at Dover Docks carrying migrants across the English Channel, in Dover, Britain, May 09, 2022. As part of a scheme to crack down on migrants landing on British shores after crossing the English Channel in de small boats, the UK intends to provide those found to have arrived illegally with a one-way ticket to Rwanda.  EPA/Stuart Brock

A boat at Dover Docks carrying migrants across the English Channel (Picture: EPA)

Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action – which is one of the organizations threatening legal action against the plan, said: “There’s nothing ‘world first’ about this deal – it’s a neo-colonial embarrassment that seeks to exchange black and brown refugees for cash with a country with an abysmal human rights record.

“Terrible harm has already been done – people are terrified of receiving these letters, including child asylum seekers who have arrived in the UK alone. We will see the government in court.

Activists last week accused Home Secretary Priti Patel of ‘racist’ and ‘inhumane’ policies and called on her to back out of the Rwanda deal during a speech she gave at a a Conservative Party dinner.

At least 7,739 people have arrived in the UK after crossing the English Channel this year so far, according to an analysis by the Palestinian Authority news agency of government figures.

This is more than three times the amount that had arrived in the same period in 2021 (2,439).

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