Controversial UK bill permits expulsion of asylum seekers to Rwanda

(MENAFN) During a late-night session spanning Monday and Tuesday, the British Parliament passed a contentious bill granting the government authority to deport asylum seekers who arrived irregularly in the United Kingdom to Rwanda. Despite numerous revisions and amendments proposed by members of the House of Lords, the bill ultimately proceeded without any additional changes, paving the way for its enactment into law.

The passage of the bill comes after months of debate and scrutiny, with the House of Lords repeatedly sending the draft legislation back to the House of Commons for revisions. However, after reaching a consensus not to introduce further amendments, the bill received parliamentary approval.

The decision to enact the bill into law has sparked controversy, particularly in light of a Supreme Court ruling last November that deemed the deportation of migrants and asylum seekers from the UK as illegal. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak defended the new law, asserting that it addresses legal concerns and enables the government to fulfill its commitment to curbing irregular migration, particularly via small boats crossing the English Channel.

Sunak's discussions with Rwandan President Paul Kagame underscored the anticipation of the UK government to begin deporting illegal immigrants to Rwanda, despite ongoing questions surrounding the controversial scheme. A government spokesperson revealed that Sunak briefed President Kagame on the legislative developments in Parliament, emphasizing the significance of the bill amidst public debate and scrutiny. Both leaders expressed eagerness for the implementation of the legislation, with plans for deportation flights to commence in the spring.

The backdrop of the bill's passage is a backdrop of escalating concerns over immigration levels in the UK, with official statistics indicating a record-high annual net migration of 745,000 people in 2022. In response, Sunak has introduced measures aimed at reducing legal immigration rates by 300,000 individuals, underscoring the government's commitment to addressing immigration challenges.



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