UK Parliament Passes Bill to Deport Asylum Seekers to Rwanda

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The United Kingdom (UK) Parliament on Tuesday morning, April 23, 2024, passed the Rwanda Bill allowing the UK to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The bill spearheaded by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had stalled for two months after the House of Lords had been engaged in an extended tussle over the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill, sending it back to the House of Commons five times in a bid to secure changes. The unelected chamber ended the deadlock after MPs rejected a requirement that Rwanda could not be treated as safe until the secretary of state, having consulted an independent monitoring body, made a statement to Parliament to that effect.

Earlier on Monday, Sunak held a rare morning press conference to demand that the Lords stop blocking his key proposal for ending the tide of migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats, promising that both houses of Parliament would remain in session until it was approved.

Following the passing of the Bill, the UK government will start to deport to Rwanda some people who enter the United Kingdom illegally as a deterrent to migrants who risk their lives in inflatable boats in hopes that they will be able to claim asylum once they reach Britain.

The number of migrants arriving in Britain on small boats soared to 45,774 in 2022 from just 299 four years earlier, as people seeking refuge pay criminal gangs thousands of pounds to ferry them across the channel.

However, migrant advocates have vowed to continue the fight against the bill.

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