UK Confirms First Migrants Held For Rwanda Deportation Flights

The Uk Confirms The First Rwanda Deportation Flights

The UK government acknowledged Wednesday that it had detained an unidentified number of migrants who would be deported to Rwanda in July under its contentious new policy.
A week earlier, MPs enacted a controversial measure naming Rwanda a safe third country to deport certain asylum applicants after months of parliamentary debate.

Last Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged to keep migrants arriving on tiny boats from mainland Europe within “10 to 12 weeks” before deportation flights.

Immigration officials were holding passengers for the flights earlier this week. The interior ministry announced “a series of nationwide operations” on Wednesday.

The first unlawful migrants to be deported to Rwanda have been detained, it added.

The ministry shared photos and a video of immigration enforcement personnel detaining migrants at various residences, calling it “another major milestone” in the Rwanda strategy.

They were handcuffed and taken away in guarded vehicles.

Interior minister James Cleverly said they were “working at pace to swiftly detain those who have no right to be here so we can get flights off the ground”.
On Tuesday, a senior official said the government plans to deport 5,700 migrants to Rwanda this year after the interior ministry said Kigali had “in principle” agreed.

A ministry statement stated 2,143 “can be located for detention” before being transferred there, leaving more than 3,500 confirmed.
Ministers say enforcement teams will find them.
The government announced Wednesday that it had increased prison capacity to nearly 2,200 slots before the first Rwanda planes.
It stated that commercial charter planes and an airport are on standby.
London revealed Tuesday that the first unsuccessful asylum applicant traveled to Rwanda under a voluntary plan.

Rwanda, a 13-million-person country in Africa’s Great Lakes area, is considered one of the most stable and has contemporary infrastructure.
Rights organizations say veteran President Paul Kagame rules in fear, limiting opposition and free expression.
Sunak’s Tories claim the prospect of deportation will dissuade tens of thousands of annual cross-Channel arrivals and that the program is already working.
However, official records show arrivals rose by more than a quarter in the first quarter compared to 2023.

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