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All failed asylum seekers to be eligible for deportation

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Published Time: 16.05.2024 - 00:40:16 Modified Time: 16.05.2024 - 00:40:16

James Cleverly announces extension after further agreement with Rwanda Gareth Fuller/PA All failed asylum seekers will be eligible for deportation to Rwanda under an expansion of Rishi Sunak’s flagship scheme

James Cleverly announces extension after further agreement with Rwanda

: Gareth Fuller/PA

All failed asylum seekers will be eligible for deportation to Rwanda under an expansion of Rishi Sunak’s flagship scheme.

James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, announced the move after a deal to extend the scheme to them was agreed between the UK and Rwanda.

This goes beyond the previous criteria of people who arrived in the UK illegally since January 2021, and is in addition to a voluntary scheme where failed asylum seekers are offered up to £3,000 to move there.

One migrant is so far known to have taken up the offer. The move extends the initial cohort of 5,700 migrants who have been targeted for detention ahead of their removal on the first flights, scheduled for end of June or early July.

Hundreds are understood to have been detained so far in immigration removal centres.

Critics claimed it was evidence of desperation by the Home Office to boost their chances of securing sufficient numbers of migrants for the “drumbeat” of regular flights that the Prime Minister has pledged for the summer.

: Gareth Fuller/PA

Legal sources suggested it could also reduce the likelihood of legal challenges as the Home Office could argue their asylum claims had been fully tested unlike other migrants who have been barred from lodging claims under the legislation.

A Refugee Council spokesman also claimed: “This is another way to drive people underground, causing people to lose contact with the authorities.”

However, Mr Cleverly said: “Those who have no right to remain in the UK should not be allowed to stay. We have a safe third country ready and waiting to accept people, offer them support across the board and help rebuild their lives.

: LEON NEAL/AFP

: Finnbarr Webster/Getty

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