More than half of asylum seekers allocated for removal from UK to Rwanda cannot be found
More than half of asylum seekers allocated for removal from UK to Rwanda cannot be found

More than half of asylum seekers allocated for removal from UK to Rwanda cannot be found

More than half of the asylum seekers allocated for removal to Rwanda cannot be found by the UK's Home Office, according to the government's own impact assessment.


Almost six thousand people were due to be issued a "Notice of Intent" that their asylum claim was inadmissible, but just over two thousand are able to be tracked down.

The Home Office claims in a new document that the government of Rwanda has agreed "in principle" to accept 5,700 asylum seekers from the UK, but admits only 2,143 attend regular check-ins and "can be located for detention".

It is unclear whether the 3,557 missing asylum seekers have gone underground to avoid deportation or are victims of administrative errors caused by moving between different taxpayer-funded accommodations.

Only asylum seekers who arrived between 1 July 2022 and 29 June 2023, and who already received a letter telling them about the Rwanda plan are in this group.

The first flights are planned for this July, which indicates no one who arrived in Britain on a small boat during the previous year will be onboard.

The policy document also notes that there is likely to be "significant attention from MPs" over individual cases and Home Office staff "may be overwhelmed".

It warns that this might result in "delay or removal to be cancelled pending a response".

Members of Parliament are normally able to suspend deportation until they receive a reply to their queries over a case.

The new departmental guidance also sets out the process by which asylum seekers would have their claims heard.

Migrants successfully granted asylum in Rwanda will stay there - and not be allowed to return to Britain - but the document goes on to state that "no individual...will be removed from Rwanda".

This means unsuccessful claimants would also remain in the African country.

"Those who are unsuccessful would either depart voluntarily or gain another kind of status in Rwanda with equal treatment to those recognised as refugees," according to the guidance.

Before being sent to Rwanda, asylum seekers will also be able to apply to leave Britain to return to their home country instead, with the Home Office helping with travel documents and flights.

But the report says that this must be requested before being taken to one of the country's six detention centres.

However, new powers to ignore interim injunctions from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to prevent flights taking off will not be automatic.

Instead, it will be up to the Home Secretary to "assess, on a case-by-case basis".

In letters also released by the Cabinet Office on the Rwanda plan, civil servants have also been told not to stand in the way of the Rwanda scheme's success, despite their reservations over the possible legal status of contravening the ECHR.

Darren Tierney, the Cabinet Office's head of ethics, told Sir Matthew Rycroft, Home Office permanent secretary, that such cases are "a decision for a Minister of the Crown" and that "the UK's international obligations are a matter for Ministers".

Mr Tierney goes on to say that any staff who "refuse to implement" the Rwanda plan would go against "the broader constitutional function of the impartial Civil Service".


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