UK still backs Rwanda deportations despite legal challenge

Oct 3, 2022, 7:10 PM | Updated: Oct 4, 2022, 6:22 pm
Britain's Home Secretary Suella Braverman arrives for day three of the Conservative Party annual co...

Britain's Home Secretary Suella Braverman arrives for day three of the Conservative Party annual conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, England, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

(Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Britain’s immigration minister said Tuesday that people who arrive by unauthorized means should not be allowed to claim asylum in the U.K. and she vowed to press on with a contentious plan to send some asylum-seekers on a one-way trip to Rwanda.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman acknowledged that a legal challenge to the policy means it’s unlikely anyone will be deported to the east African country this year.

Under a deal signed in April, Britain plans to send some migrants who arrive in the U.K. as stowaways or in small boats to Rwanda, where their asylum claims would be processed. Those granted asylum would stay in the African country rather than returning to the U.K.

The British government has said the policy will deter people-trafficking gangs who ferry migrants across the English Channel. Human rights groups say it is unworkable and inhumane to send people thousands of miles away to a country they don’t want to live in.

Braverman was appointed last month by new Prime Minister Liz Truss. Speaking at the ruling Conservative Party’s annual conference Tuesday, she said she would make the Rwanda policy work and was seeking to strike similar agreements with other countries.

She said she also would try to change the law so people who arrive in Britain by means other than established refugee programs can be deported.

“If you deliberately enter the U.K. illegally from a safe country, you should be swiftly returned to your come country or relocated to Rwanda,” Braverman said.

Tim Naor Hilton, chief executive of the group Refugee Action, said such a move would be “a blatant breach of the international refugee laws that the U.K. proudly helped create in the first place.”

Clare Mosley, founder of refugee charity Care4Calais, said it was “barbaric, untruthful and unnecessary.”

“If this government truly wanted to stop small boat crossings it would offer safe passage to those who have a viable claim for asylum,” she said.

Britain has already paid Rwanda 120 million pounds ($145 million) but no one has been sent there as part of the deal. The U.K. was forced to cancel the first deportation flight at the last minute in June after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the plan carried “a real risk of irreversible harm.”

Braverman railed against the ruling. “We cannot allow a foreign court to undermine the sovereignty of our borders,” she said, though she has dropped an idea suggested by the previous government of pulling Britain out of the international human rights court.

Several asylum-seekers, aid groups and a border officials’ union took legal action against the government in the British courts, with a hearing due later this month.

Thousands of people a year try to cross one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes in dinghies and other fragile craft in hope of a new life in the U.K. More than 35,500 people have made the crossing so far this year, up from 28,000 in 2021.

Dozens have died in the attempt in recent years.

The crossings, and how to stop them, are a source of friction between the U.K. and France. Braverman said the U.K. was committed to working with France to stop the smuggling gangs.

She said French authorities were stopping between 40% and 50% of boats trying to leave.

“That’s not good enough but it’s better than nothing,” she said.

___

Follow all AP stories on global migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

concede...
Associated Press

GOP’s Joe Kent contests results of Washington state race

Republican Joe Kent's campaign said Friday it intends to request a machine ballot recount of the counties within southwest Washington state's 3rd Congressional District.
11 hours ago
Gavel...
Associated Press

Case against man arrested in 1994 death of woman dismissed

Criminal charges against a man suspected in the 1994 murder of a Vancouver, Washington, woman have been dismissed.
11 hours ago
Sharon Bishop-Baldwin, left, and Mary Bishop-Baldwin, right, pose for a photo with the book that Sh...
Associated Press

Same-sex couples wary despite federal marriage rights bill

Mary and Sharon Bishop-Baldwin were jubilant after winning a decadelong fight for the right to wed in Oklahoma. But eight years after tying the knot — on the day they won their lawsuit challenging a state ban on gay marriage — and seven years after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed same-sex couples’ constitutional right to […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by th...
Associated Press

Confusion over Iran’s religious police as women drop hijab

CAIRO (AP) — Confusion over the status of Iran’s religious police grew as state media cast doubt on reports the force had been shut down. Despite the uncertainty, it has appeared for weeks that enforcement of the strict dress code has been scaled back as more women walk the streets without wearing the required headscarf. […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Glencore agrees to pay Congo $180 million over bribery case

BAAR, Switzerland (AP) — Commodities company Glencore said Monday that it has reached an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo to pay $180 million over bribery allegations spanning from 2007 to 2018. It comes months after the Anglo-Swiss company announced deals with authorities in the U.S., Britain and Brazil to pay a total of […]
1 day ago
In this combination of photos Arizona gubernatorial candidates, Republican Kari Lake, left, appears...
Associated Press

Arizona certifies 2022 election despite GOP complaints

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s top officials certified the midterm election results Monday, formalizing victories for Democrats over Republicans who falsely claimed the 2020 election was rigged. The certification opens a five-day window for formal election challenges. Republican Kari Lake, who lost the race for governor, is expected to file a lawsuit after weeks of criticizing […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
UK still backs Rwanda deportations despite legal challenge