Theresa May, the former U.K Prime Minister, has slammed the government’s intention to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda.
May stated in the Commons that she did not support the idea due to worries about its “legality, practicality, and efficacy.”
The program, according to Home Secretary Priti Patel, will be “a severe blow to people traffickers” and will prevent individuals from dying on risky routes to the UK.
Charities and opposition parties has also condemned and slammed the development.
Theresa May, who also served as home secretary overseeing the UK’s immigration policy between 2010 and 2016, asked if the trial scheme would lead to an increase in trafficking of women and children – after reports that only single men making illegal crossings to the UK would be sent to Rwanda.
People considered to have entered the UK illegally will be flown to the African country, where they will be processed and, if successful, will be given long-term accommodation.
“From what I have heard and seen so far of this policy, I do not support the removal to Rwanda proposal on the grounds of legality, practicality, and efficacy.
“If it is the case that families will not be broken up, does she not believe and where is her evidence that this will not simply lead to an increase in the trafficking of women and children?” May said in response to Ms Patel’s comments on migration.
However, Patel defended the policy saying: “Change is needed because people are dying attempting to come to the UK.”
Theresa May told MPs: “This partnership is the type of international co-operation needed to make the global immigration system fairer, keep people safe, and give them opportunities to flourish.
“This will help break the people smugglers’ business model and prevent the loss of life, while ensuring protection for those who are genuinely vulnerable.”
According to a memorandum of agreement between the two countries, the UK will assess asylum seekers “immediately” when they arrive in the country, and then give Rwanda with basic information about each person it wants to transfer.
All requests would have to be approved by Rwanda before being transferred, and the agreement would continue for five years.
Following their arrival in Rwanda, each asylum seeker will be provided with housing and support, as well as the freedom to come and go from their accommodations at any time, according to the memorandum.
If the asylum application is approved, the asylum seeker will be provided long-term housing in the African country.
Those who are not recognized by Rwandan authorities as asylum seekers will be deported to a country where they have a legal right to live.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also called Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Tuesday evening to reaffirm his commitment to working with the African country.
The number of people known to have crossed the English Channel in small boats increased to 28,526 last year, up from 8,404 in 2020.
Recall that News Central on Tuesday reported Priti Patel responded to critics of the government’s plan to transfer asylum seekers to Rwanda, claiming that they have failed to provide answers.
After her top civil servant questioned whether the scheme was cost-effective, Patel issued a ministerial instruction, which meant she took responsibility for the policy.
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