UK Home Office: Rwanda Deportation Plan to Kick Off Within Weeks

The UK Home Office confirmed on Monday that immigration officials would begin detaining the illegal migrants who would be deported to Rwanda in the coming weeks to prepare for the first flights bound for the African country.

The Parliament finally approved Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s ambitious Rwanda plan on April 23 and the prime minister pledged to begin the deportation flights in July.

In a press conference on April 22, Sunak blasted his opponents in Parliament who had blocked the proposal for nearly two years. He demanded that the House of Lords stop delaying the measure.

Under the plan, the UK government will fly some illegal migrants to Rwanda as a way to deter others from attempting the perilous journey across the English Channel aboard often unreliable vessels.

The conservative PM has bet his political future on the Rwanda plan, with his “stop the boats” pledge playing a central part in his pitch to voters ahead of the election later this year.

Currently, polling shows Sunak’s Tory Party trailing far behind Labour in the upcoming elections.

The problem of migrants crossing the channel into the UK has become a heated political issue, with British voters viewing it as proof that the conservative government has failed in its efforts to control illegal migration.

In 2018, only 299 migrants crossed the English Channel. Four years later, the number of migrants arriving by boat skyrocketed to 45,774 as migrants seeking asylum began paying human trafficking gangs thousands to take them over the channel into Britain.

The arrivals fell to just over 29,000 last year after the conservative government started cracking down on human traffickers and made an agreement with Albania to repatriate its citizens.

So far this year, over 7,000 illegal migrants have made the trek across the border.