According to the most recent arrivals data in Kent, 260 people made the dangerous journey across the English Channel this week. This brings the total number of illegal migrants who crossed the English Channel to over 705 in June and the total for the year to over 10,000.
Some of those hauled ashore this morning by Border Force personnel indicated they were from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. It comes as seven individuals are expected to board the first aircraft carrying asylum seekers to the east African country, with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss promising that if they do not make it on that flight, “they will be on the next.”
According to Ms Truss, who spoke to Sky News, “We are expecting to send the flight later today.”
“I can’t say exactly how many people will be on the flight.”
But the really important thing is that we establish the principle and we start to break the business model of these appalling people traffickers who are trading in misery.
“There will be people on the flight, and if they are not on this flight, they will be on the next flight.”
“It’s about making sure that people have a safe future in Rwanda and we’re determined to follow through on it.”
Various individuals have won legal battles to be removed from the controversial trip, and four more legal challenges from those scheduled to be transported to Kigali, Rwanda, are anticipated to be addressed in court before midnight.
On Monday, the Court of Appeal dismissed a last-ditch plea to prevent the aircraft from taking off.
Ms Truss said that the government is prepared to “face down” any future legal challenges to its policies, emphasising that: “It’s about making sure that people have a safe future in Rwanda and we’re determined to follow through on it”.
Even though rumours said the flight cost £500,000, the Foreign Secretary wouldn’t say how much it cost. She did, however, say that it was “good value for money.”
Some asylum seekers who entered the UK unlawfully will be sent to Rwanda as part of the Rwanda asylum seeker initiative.
Since it was first announced two months ago, over 160 charities and political groups have asked ministers to get rid of it. It has been criticised by many people.
Despite criticism directed toward this policy, “some of it from slightly unexpected quarters,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised in Cabinet on Tuesday that the government would “go on and deliver” on its plan.
Back in April, Mr Johnson claimed Rwanda shared a “humanitarian impulse” with the UK that enabled such a strategy to come into fruition.
To deter “vile people smugglers” from turning the ocean into a “watery graveyard,” he called the scheme an “innovative approach.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel, on the other hand, said that the UK has “one of the best records for resettling refugees.”
The five-year experiment will go off with a flight on Tuesday.
While the Rwandan government reviews their application, asylum seekers will be provided with lodging and support. If their claim is accepted, they will be able to remain in the country for up to five years with access to education and support.