The British Supreme Court declares deportations to Rwanda illegal

The British Supreme Court declares deportations to Rwanda illegal
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The British Government is committed to sending illegal immigrants to Rwanda on flights that are not exactly low cost and they cost the taxpayer about fifteen thousand euros per passenger. But the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that such trips are prohibited – whether as a tourist, in business or first – because the destination is not certain, and those who risk their lives to reach the United Kingdom could be deported to their countries of origin and face torture and even death.

The Conservative Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, does not give up however, and a few hours after the sentencing he announced urgent legislative changes that he will introduce in the coming days to elevate the agreement with Rwanda to the status of an international treaty and declare it a “safe country.” .

Whether this will be enough for the planes to take off is not clear. The five judges of the Supreme Court, unanimously, expressed the opinion that “what matters are not words but actions”, and deported immigrants could find that Rwanda does not process their asylum applications with the necessary diligence and rigor, according to the requirements and criteria prevailing in the United Kingdom, or – even worse – send them to third countries or to their own countries of origin. The new law will probably also end up in court and will be subject to appeals, a process that will take at least months.

What the Sunak Government seems to have put on hold is the “nuclear option” – asked by the Eurosceptics and the extreme right of the Party – of abandoning the European Convention on Human Rights (London was its first signatory in 1953) so that European justice does not have There is nothing to say about it and the NGOs that represent immigrants cannot go before her. The previous Minister of the Interior, Suella Braverman, is in favor of taking this step, but her successor, James Cleverly, is not clear about it.

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Rafael Ramos

The new plan is to elevate the agreements with Rwanda to the status of a treaty and define it as a “safe country”

“I understand people's frustration,” Sunak said at a news conference. Last year, 52,350 undocumented immigrants arrived in England – the vast majority in inflatable boats across the English Channel –, much less than in Germany, Italy or Greece, which claims to have prevented the entry of 150,000. Rome and Berlin have recently announced more severe measures to limit the arrival of undocumented immigrants.

Illegal immigration is, however, just the tip of the iceberg. Because while on the one hand the British Government is crying out loud about the increase in asylum seekers crossing the channel, on the other it has opened the doors wide to 600,000 foreigners who arrived in 2022 with their papers in order, because they are Ukrainians, citizens of the Commonwealth or the EU with job offers and, above all, Chinese, Indian and other students from other countries who pay the exorbitant tuition fees of universities such as Oxford and Cambridge and allow them to be profitable. What it does not want are refugees from Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq fleeing persecution and misery derived from colonialism and military interventions to arrange their countries.

Yesterday Sunak needed to be firm after the challenge from the right wing tory (six deputies have presented letters requesting a motion of confidence). And after the dismissal of one of its leaders, former Minister Braverman, who accused him in her farewell letter of betraying the country, breaking his promises and lacking a plan B for the assumption – which yesterday became a reality – that the Supreme declare deportations illegal.

London has advanced Rwandan President Kagame 150 million euros to take in deported migrants, give them food and accommodation while their asylum applications are processed and, if they are approved, provide them with a job. But, if they are rejected, they would be returned to their countries of origin or sent to others that would accept them (which in no case would include the United Kingdom, since the idea is to dissuade them from risking their lives to end up in East Africa. ).

Last year 52,350 undocumented immigrants arrived in the United Kingdom, but the country legally opened its doors to 600,000

The whole matter is surrounded by enormous populism and the exploitation of the baser instincts of voters, since the British Government is content to send a plane with a couple of hundred people, a ridiculous number. What matters to him is the gesture of sending them away, the impression of being “doing something.” The flight that Sunak had planned, and that had been planned by Johnson, has been suspended by the Supreme Court. Return to the travel agency to find another itinerary.

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