British justice gives the green light to the first deportation of immigrants to Rwanda | International
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A small victory for the Government of Boris Johnson and the new immigration policy designed after Brexit, but the legal battle is far from over. Judge Jonathan Swift, of the High Court of Justice of England, has denied the suspension of the deportation to Rwanda requested by four of the immigrants in an irregular situation selected by the Ministry of the Interior to be part of the first deportation. About 30 people will leave the United Kingdom for that African country on Tuesday. Both the place where the plane will take off and the name of the airline are kept secret.
Minister Priti Patel, one of the conservative politicians with a harsher discourse against immigration, closed last April with the Government of Rwanda, the East African country that experienced the genocidal massacre of the Tutsi minority at the hands of Hutu power in 1994 , a collaboration agreement. In exchange for aid worth more than 144 million euros, the British authorities will be able to send back to that country a large part of the illegal immigrants intercepted each year in the English Channel. They will be above all adult men, who mostly make up what Downing Street calls “economic migrants”: people who, according to this classification, are not really being persecuted for political, religious or any other reason, but rather aspire to greater opportunities vital.
Judge Swift has prioritized in his decision the “material public interest” behind the immigration policy of the Johnson Government, although he gives way to an appeal, which will probably be heard urgently on Monday, 24 hours after first flight. “People will continue to try to prevent their relocation through legal maneuvers and last minute claims, but they will not stop us in our efforts to end the illegal trafficking of people and, ultimately, save lives”, said Patel celebrating sentence. The magistrate, however, has already made it clear that the matter will end up in the hands of the Supreme Court, which must decide on the constitutionality of the new policy in the next six weeks.
Humanitarian organizations that have backed the immigrants in their legal challenge have expressed disappointment with the ruling. “We have already had to act to prevent the deportation to Rwanda of young people who had been falsely claimed to be of age,” said Enver Solomon, the executive director of the Refugee Council. “The Government must reflect on the initial failures of its plan, and rethink everything, to establish a humane, orderly and fair asylum system,” added Solomon.
Lawyers representing the United Nations Refugee Agency, with whom Patel’s team met on at least two occasions, have denied before the judge that this body, which oversees international immigration law, had given their approval of the new policy. “In those two meetings, the agency put serious objections on the table regarding the reception capacity of the facilities. [de Ruanda] and regarding the risk of sending people to that country who could suffer persecution”, said lawyer Laura Dubinsky.
The legal arguments presented to the judge to stay the deportation questioned Patel’s own right to make that decision; the rationality of his claim that Rwanda is a “safe third country”; preventive measures applied to immigrants to prevent the spread of malaria; and, above all, the adaptation of the new policy to the European Convention on Human Rights.
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Johnson celebrated the court’s decision with a tweet: “We cannot allow traffickers to continue putting lives in danger. Our international collaboration, which is pioneering, will allow us to put an end to the business model of these unscrupulous criminals”.
Welcome news from the High Court today.
We cannot allow people traffickers to put lives at risk and our world leading partnership will help break the business model of these ruthless criminals. https://t.co/Xus4ADmNIP
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) June 10, 2022
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