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Tens of thousands of migrants have reached Britain in recent years. FILE.

UK to deport nearly 6,000 migrants to Rwanda this year

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The UK expects to deport nearly 6,000 migrants to Rwanda this year, a senior minister said Tuesday, after the government published new details on the controversial scheme.

The figures come days after the plan, aimed at deterring migrant arrivals on small boats from northern Europe, became law following months of parliamentary wrangling.

Rwanda has “in principle” agreed to accept 5,700 migrants already in the UK, the interior ministry revealed late Monday. Of those, 2,143 “can be located for detention” before being flown there, according to the ministry. Law enforcement agencies will find the remainder, Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said Tuesday when asked about the 5,700 earmarked for deportation.

“The expectation is that we remove that group of people… by the end of the year,” she told Sky News television.

“If somebody doesn’t report as they should do… They will be found.”

Migrants who arrived in the UK between January 2022 and June last year are liable to have their asylum claims deemed inadmissible and be removed to Rwanda, the interior ministry said. More than 57,000 people arrived on small boats after trying to cross the Channel during these 18 months, according to official statistics.

The figure underlines the scale of the challenge trying to stem irregular arrivals and the limits of the government’s contentious plan to send some of them to Rwanda.

Under the scheme, set to cost UK taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds, their asylum claims will be examined by Kigali.

Successful claimants will be allowed to stay in Rwanda. They will not return to the UK.

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