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UK Deportation Flights to Rwanda Delayed Due to Missing Asylum Seekers

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Griffith Sarah

Apr 30, 2024

A government investigation claims that over half of the asylum seekers assigned for transfer to Rwanda are missing.

The UK government's plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda faces a significant hurdle as more than half of those allocated for removal cannot be located by the Home Office, according to an impact assessment.

Of the nearly 6,000 individuals slated to receive a "Notice of Intent" regarding the inadmissibility of their asylum claims, only just over 2,000 can be accounted for. The Home Office admits that while Rwanda has agreed "in principle" to accept 5,700 asylum seekers from the UK, only 2,143 are regularly attending check-ins and can be located for detention.

The whereabouts of the remaining 3,557 asylum seekers remain uncertain. They may have gone underground to evade deportation or could be victims of administrative errors stemming from transitions between taxpayer-funded accommodations.

This situation raises questions about the efficiency and effectiveness of the deportation process, especially considering the upcoming first deportation flights scheduled for July. Notably, individuals who arrived in Britain via small boats between July 1, 2022, and June 29, 2023, will not be included in this initial wave of deportations.

Furthermore, the policy document acknowledges the likelihood of significant attention from Members of Parliament on individual cases and the potential for Home Office staff to be overwhelmed.

As the government grapples with these challenges, it remains to be seen how it will address the missing asylum seekers and ensure a smooth implementation of its deportation plan to Rwanda.

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