Failed Asylum Seeker Offered £3,000 to Relocate to Rwanda

Failed Asylum Seeker Offered £3,000 to Relocate to Rwanda
Getty Images The failed asylum seeker is likely to have flown to Kigali, the Rwandan capital

Failed Asylum Seeker Offered £3,000 to Relocate to Rwanda.

A first failed asylum seeker has reportedly participated in a voluntary removal program to Rwanda as part of a scheme introduced last month. Under this initiative, migrants whose asylum claims are rejected are offered up to £3,000 to relocate to the East African country. This program is distinct from the forced returns scheme announced by the government two years ago, which has faced delays and is scheduled to commence by mid-July.

According to reports, the unnamed individual left the UK on Monday via a commercial flight. While officials did not disclose specific details, they confirmed that the asylum seeker had exhausted all legal avenues to remain in the UK. The Rwandan government also confirmed the failed asylum seeker’s arrival on Tuesday.

Labor criticized the timing of the departure, suggesting it was motivated by political considerations ahead of the local elections in England. The scheme, announced in March, is an adaptation of an existing voluntary returns program for failed asylum seekers and will now be extended to other individuals with no legal right to stay in the UK, including foreign criminals.

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch defended the relocation program, emphasizing the absence of a “cost-free option” for border control. She pointed out that payments under the scheme can cover various expenses such as temporary accommodation, education costs, or business setup in the destination country.

However, critics raised concerns about the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the scheme, questioning the £3,000 payment offered to volunteers. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper described it as a “pre-election gimmick.” At the same time, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey criticized it as an expensive measure unlikely to address the underlying issues.

Meanwhile, the Home Office confirmed Rwanda’s agreement to accept an initial cohort of 5,700 asylum seekers under the forced returns scheme. This initiative aims to deter future migrants from crossing the English Channel in small boats but has faced legal challenges and delays. Despite assurances from Downing Street regarding the whereabouts of the asylum seekers subject to detention, concerns persist about potential absconding before their removal.

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