British Parliament approves government's plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during a press conference at Downing Street in London, Britain on April 22, 2024. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool

A controversial bill by the British government Kick out regular immigrants Rwanda At midnight on Monday in Parliament, A marathon pulse between the two legislative chambers.

Chief Minister Rishi Sunak And his conservative party pressed for the adoption of the text It will force judges to consider the East African nation a safe country For deported immigrants.

It will also empower the authorities responsible for deciding asylum applications Ignore sections of international humanitarian law and British and to avoid a result High Court who considered the project illegal.

The scheme was launched in May 2022 by the previous government Boris JohnsonA faced Strong opposition in the House of LordsAn Advisory Committee responsible for scrutinizing laws passed in the House of Commons.

Members of The Upper House criticized the bill as inadequate And they sent the text back to the Lower House with amendments several times.

Nobles demanded, for example, a Independent monitoring to determine whether Rwanda is truly a safe country Or they demanded exemption from deportation for those who had worked with the British Army overseas, such as Afghan interpreters.

A protester holds a banner as they demonstrate outside the High Court against the government's policy of deporting illegal immigrants to Rwanda. (REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo)

But the Members of the House of CommonsWhere conservatives are in the majority, They rejected every amendment Parliament sent the original text to the other chamber in a process known as “ping pong”.

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Finally, the House of Lords, whose members are not elected, relented and announced shortly before midnight that they would no longer table any further amendments, meaning the law would be formally ratified once it received royal assent.

The Sunak government is under pressure to reduce the number of asylum seekers Crossing the English Channel in small boats from northern France.

Sunak's government is under pressure to reduce the record number of asylum seekers crossing the English Channel in small boats from northern France. (REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File)

Hours before the plan cleared its last parliamentary hurdle, the Conservative leader announced his The plan will be used “as is”.

“They'll take off no matter what.”Sunak, who has made the fight against irregular immigration one of his priorities ahead of this year's British general election, said.

The Flights to the African country will start in “ten or twelve weeks”.A press conference aimed at presenting the methods used by the government to organize these evacuations was emphasized.

The National Audit Officel, a public expenditure monitor, is estimated It will cost around £540 million (about $665 million) deports the first 300 migrants.

This deportation program Rwanda It has since faced several legal challenges Delivery in 2022.

This year, The first evacuees were forced off the plane at the last minute Following an intervention European Court of Human Rights. Since then, no migrants have been sent there.

The project may still be subject to New legal sources, It includes the Labor opposition, migrant aid societies, the Anglican Church and the UN. was severely criticized by

Rishi Sunak and Rwandan President Paul Kagame (Alberto Pezzali/REUTERS/File)

Its High Commissioner for Human Rights, Austria Volker TurkHe said he was going “against basic principles of human rights”.

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UN experts have suggested that airlines and air traffic controllers may be complicit in human rights abuses. They are protected internationally if they participate in immigration evacuation flights.

With 13 million people, Rwanda claims to be one of the most stable countries in Africa. But human rights groups blame the president Paul Kagame To make a rule An environment of fear And To quell differences of opinion and freedom of expression.

More than 120,000 people have crossed the English Channel On basic boats From 2018 onwardsWhen the government started counting the number of irregular migrants coming through this route.

Sunak is firm on this principle “Slowing down the boats” deters migrants His Conservative Party is at a clear electoral disadvantage compared to Labour, which has been in power for fourteen years.

The Elections To be conducted by the end of January 2025, but They will be held in 2024, Sunak said At a yet to be announced date.

(With information from AFP)

Eden Hayes

"Wannabe gamer. Subtly charming beer buff. General pop culture trailblazer. Incurable thinker. Certified analyst."

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