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Britain to Deport Migrants to Rwanda by Summer


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Media reports said on Saturday that the British Home Secretary plans to deport the migrants to Rwanda by this summer.

“We’re definitely working towards stopping the flights before the summer,” a Home Office source said, adding that Soella Braverman acknowledged it depended on the pending legal battles.

“We are working to get this done as quickly as possible, and there is every possibility that we can move quickly if we get a good judgment in our favour,” she told reporters.

No migrants have been transferred to the country so far after the agreement was signed last April by Priti Patel, Braverman’s predecessor.

It comes as Braverman has expanded the agreement with Rwanda to include all those entering the UK illegally rather than just asylum seekers.

The addition to the deal would be made to ensure that illegal immigrants are quickly detained and removed under the Illegal Immigration Act (IMB), no matter what claim they make — including asylum, human rights, modern slavery, or nothing at all.

Speaking in the Rwandan capital Kigali on her first official visit as Home Minister, Braverman also said that the IMB as it is “doesn’t take us out of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR),” but added: “There is nothing off the table, finally.”

She said there were “serious issues relating to the balance that is currently being found” with the Strasbourg courts.

The Bureau of Immigration and Refugees is set to roll out the 28-day migrant deportation process – and asked if this would see those contesting their resettlement returned to Britain, Braverman said: “The bill significantly reduces the chance of people making false claims.” .

“There will be very limited opportunities to challenge that,” she added.

On Saturday, Braverman visited the residences that will be used for immigrants — with properties equipped with gardens, off-street parking, and capacity for fiber-optic broadband.

The cheapest homes on the Riverside Estate in Kigali will cost potential buyers £14,000 ($17,000) and are set to be offered to both asylum seekers and Rwandans.

“No punishment”

Immigrants from the UK will be housed in hostels and hotels for the short term, before moving into longer term housing arrangements.

The visit comes as 209 people were confirmed to have crossed the canal in small boats on Friday, five days after no reported crossings.

“I think Rwanda is clearly prepared. We saw that on the Riverside estate,” Braverman said.

“We see that there is real progress being made in real, concrete terms.”

During her trip, the interior minister was scheduled to meet President Paul Kagame to discuss the agreement, after meeting her Rwandan counterpart Vincent Perotta earlier on Saturday.

Speaking of flights potentially taking off by the summer, Braverman said, “As far as flights are concerned, we’re still on a court schedule. We’re waiting for the appeals court’s substantive hearing later next month.”

“There will be time after that for the ruling by the Court of Appeal. Flights can take off.”

Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makulu told reporters she did not “consider living in Rwanda as a punishment” – adding that the African country signed the agreement “for the right reasons”.

Asked if she was in discussions with other countries to enter into more partnerships in order to implement the IMB, Braverman said: “As I have heard, Rwanda’s capacity is in the region of thousands.”

“We think this is sufficient to deal with the challenge we face in the UK, but we are always in constructive dialogue with many countries around the world.”

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