Home Office still planning to fly dozens of asylum seekers to Rwanda despite launch of High Court action to block move

The first flight is due to leave next Tuesday with 130 migrants on board

Published Last updated

The Home Office says it is still planning to fly dozens of asylum seekers to Rwanda despite the launch of a High Court action to block the move.

The Public and Commercial Services Union, Care4Calais and Detention Action have issued judicial review proceedings challenging what they describe as an “unlawful policy” by Home Secretary Priti Patel to remove asylum seekers to the east African nation.

Lawyers for more than 90 migrants have now submitted legal challenges asking to stay in the UK.

Home Office officials are thought to be anticipating that the rest of those notified of removal will follow suit this week.

It comes after GB News revealed that more than 10,000 migrants have crossed the Channel to the UK in small boats so far this year.

Latest figures outlined how over 10,000 migrants have crossed the Channel between the UK and France so far this year.

Home Secretary Priti Patel introduced the policy which would see migrants sent to Rwanda
Home Secretary Priti Patel introduced the policy which would see migrants sent to Rwanda
Migrants who crossed the channel are being targeted
Migrants who crossed the channel are being targeted

The Deputy Director of Detention Action, James Wilson slammed the Home Secretary for her move against migrants.

Mr Wilson added: "In her desire to punish people for seeking asylum by forcing them onto a plane to Rwanda, Priti Patel has overstepped her authority.

“By rushing through what we say is an unlawful policy, she is turning a blind eye to the many clear dangers and human rights violations that it would inflict on people seeking asylum.

“It’s vital that new Government policies respect and uphold the laws that we all, as a society, have agreed to follow.

"That’s why we’re seeking an injunction to keep this plane to Rwanda from leaving the runway.”

The policy, which was unveiled by the Prime Minister, will be challenged over the Home Secretary's right to carry out such removals; the rationality of Ms Patel’s claim that Rwanda is generally a “safe third country”; the adequacy of provision for malaria prevention in Rwanda; and whether it complies with the Human Rights Act.

The Home Office appears to be targeting those who arrived in small boats in mid-May for offshoring.

A Home Office source told the Daily Mail: “Specialist immigration lawyers are pulling every trick in the book and exploiting every possible loophole to get their clients off the flight.

“Every single person due to be relocated could and should have claimed asylum in a country they passed through, instead of coming to the UK illegally.”

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union which represents the majority of Border Force staff, said: “It appears this government has learned nothing from the Windrush scandal, among others.

“PCS is not prepared to countenance our members being put in potentially dangerous and traumatic situations, where they may be asked to act illegally.”