Rwanda begins new home construction for deportees from UK

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The Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure on Monday began the construction of new homes meant to accommodate migrants deported from the United Kingdom (UK).

UK Home Secretary, Suella Braverman and Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure Ernest Nsabimana officiated the groundbreaking ceremony at the Gahanga sector in Rwanda’s Kicukiro District.

Nsabimana said the housing development project for 528 housing units, which was supposed to take six months, would be implemented under the UK-Rwanda Migration Partnership.

The UK reached a deal with Rwanda in April 2022, under which illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers were to be sent to the east African country to have their claims processed there.

The British government hoped the deal would help deter migrants from making the risky journey across the English Channel on small boats.

Earlier in December, judges at the UK’s High Court ruled that the government’s plan to send asylum-seekers on a one-way trip to Rwanda was lawful.

However,  they also criticised the government for failing to properly assess the circumstances of the eight individuals it tried to move under the scheme earlier that year.

The deal faced another legal obstacle in the UK Court of Appeal, challenging the High Court ruling.

More than 44,000 migrants were reported to have arrived in the UK across the channel in 2022.

The Rwanda asylum plan (officially the UK and Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership, also known as the Rwanda asylum scheme, Rwanda plan and Rwanda deal) is an immigration policy first proposed by the British government, whereby people identified by the United Kingdom as being illegal immigrants or asylum seekers will be relocated to Rwanda for processing, asylum and resettlement. Those successful in claiming asylum will remain in Rwanda and not be permitted to return to the United Kingdom.

The first flight under this plan received legal clearance from the High Court and was scheduled for 14 June 2022. A last-minute interim measure by the European Court of Human Rights led to the plan being halted until the conclusion of the legal action in the UK. At the end of 2022, the High Court further ruled that though the plan is lawful, the individual cases of eight asylum seekers due to be deported that year, had to be reconsidered.