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Britain Unveils Controversial Rwanda Asylum Bill

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London: In a move that signals a sharp departure from traditional asylum policies, British PM Rishi Sunak addressed the nation today, introducing a controversial bill that empowers the government to deport illegal migrants to Rwanda or other locations without affording them the opportunity to contest the decision under both international and domestic laws.

The Prime Minister, during his announcement, listed various reasons that illegal migrants often use to challenge deportation orders all of which are “blocked”. These include asylum applications, claims of abuse under modern-day slavery rules, assertions that Rwanda is unsafe, and challenges under the Human Rights Act.


Sunak asserted that international human rights laws were never intended to impede a sovereign parliament’s ability to expel illegal migrants to a country deemed safe by both parliamentary statute and international law.

“Disapplying all the relevant sections of the Human Rights Act,” Sunak explained, “will prevent our domestic courts from using any domestic or international law, including the Human Rights Act, to obstruct the removal of illegal migrants.”

The proposed legislation comes in response to a surge in asylum applications, with a reported 75,340 applications related to 93,296 individuals submitted in the UK as of September 2023. This marks a 33% increase as of March 2023 compared to the previous year and is twice the number seen in 2019.

Concerns have escalated as reports suggest that by the end of 2021, the UK had the second-largest asylum backlog in Europe, following Germany, and exhibited a decline in the number of decisions made on asylum claims.

How illegal migrants try and stay:

- Claiming asylum - blocked.
- Abuse of modern slavery rules - blocked.
- Claims that Rwanda isn't safe - blocked.
- The risk of being sent to another country - blocked.
- Spurious human rights claims - blocked.

To push the Rwanda policy through Parliament, the Prime Minister unveiled a plan to suspend certain human rights laws. The draft law that has been introduced today is expected to be implemented with an initial vote anticipated next Tuesday.

Further, Sunak clarified that he would not interpret the outcome as a vote of confidence in his party, and would not seek to oust Tory lawmakers who vote against the bill.
This controversial development follows the resignation of Illegal Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, who departed citing the legislation’s inadequacy and the need for stronger protections to prevent the paralysis of the contentious scheme. Michael Tomlinson has since replaced Jenrick as the new Illegal Immigration Minister.

As the bill heads to Parliament, it sparks debates about the potential implications on human rights, immigration policies, and the future of asylum seekers in the UK.

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