UK Plan to Send Asylum Seekers to Rwanda is Legal, Rules High Court

The UK High Court has ruled the government’s plan to open migrant processing centres in Rwanda is lawful, yet further legal challenges await the plan and will likely considerably delay the policy being enacted.

The now longstanding aspiration by the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party-led government to send would-be asylum seekers to centres in Rwanda for processing, rather than at home in the UK itself, is fundamentally legal the High Court has ruled. While the ruling has settled for now legal cases brought in June when the first migrant flight was due to take off, the UK is now subject to new courts who could also hear the case, and pro-migrant lawyers have already vowed appeals.

Under the plan, migrants who fell under certain categories — including most brought to the UK as stowaways or boat migrants by people smugglers — could be eligible to be removed to Rwanda by the British government. Those migrants could then claim asylum in Rwanda and live there, but while their claims were being processed would live in hostels paid for by the British government.

Not only would sending migrants to Rwanda rather than expensively housing them in the United Kingdom save money, but the possibility of less desirable Rwanda as a final migration destination for those chancing the potentially lethal English Channel crossing should act as a deterrent, the government believes.

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